Thursday, September 11, 2008

AMERICAN COLD WAR VETERANS



Dear Men and Women of the American Cold War Veterans,

Today is 9-11. There are memorials that are being recognized in Washington DC at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, PA, and in New York City at the site they now call NYC Ground Zero (where the Twin Towers went down on that terrible day). Big events bring big responses and memorials, as well they should. We still remember Pearl Harbor Day every December 7th. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "December 7th, 1941, a day that will lives in infamy!" It still rings true. The same is being heralded about the terrible event on 9-11.

Did any of you see the President address the nation from the Pentagon today? They unveiled a memorial of benches with a progressively higher wall around it starting from 3 inches tall (3 years old being the youngest victim on the plane that struck the Pentagon) to 71 inches tall (71 being the oldest victim, a retired Navy Captain). Each bench has the name of the person memorialized. Maple trees are there planted for each person too. They will grow and be a beautiful part of the memorial. There is also a pool of water under each bench representing living water for each person. What a great country we live in. Name any other country which would be so supportive of its people as a nation should be, that each individual is memorialized. Amazing!!

All of the people at Ground Zero in New York, at the Pentagon in DC, and at the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania who gave their lives seven years ago in the September 11th attack are certainly worthy to be memorialized. That was a huge and tragic event that day. We honor them and give our respects for their tragic deaths. We also honor the firefighters, police, and those on board United Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville for their heroic efforts to save others.

How many of us would like to see this kind of thing done for the Cold War Veterans? I know I would.
The sacrifices of our Cold War Veterans were perhaps not such a huge televised event like the World Trade Center towers when they were being struck by aircraft piloted by terrorists and collapsing. But the event of the Cold War is not less significant but more significant. The threat was greater! Thermonuclear war was a possibility that loomed to the very edge, but our Cold War Veterans served with great sacrifice and kept not only our freedom, but our technological edge that eventually helped us win the Cold War.
The Cold War Veteran often gave his life to save others, no differently than those aboard that doomed aircraft known now as United 93 that crashed in Shanksville. The details of that fight on board the aircraft were sketchy. But we do know that the passengers attacked the pilot cockpit and over took the terrorist to keep them from getting to their target. It was a sheer act of bravery. The Cold War Veterans who lost their lives during covert operations to protect our country are no less honorable. They preserved many lives too...in fact, they preserved our way of life!

Let's all honor our fallen men and women of the 9-11 tragedy...they are certainly deserving. And then, let us be even more resolved to not forget the men and women of the Cold War with a Cold War Victory/Service Medal effort and a Memorial for them too! In other words, we have not totally reached our goal yet, so let's not give up, and let's keep the fight for our Cold War Veterans going!
Lift up a prayer with me now as we honor those in the September 11th attack, and let's also pray for our efforts in the American Cold War Veterans to gain momentum and strenght to win the day of getting a medal and a memorial completed.

"Heavenly Father, we lift our hearts to you today with requests for comfort for families who are hurting from lost loved ones from the attacks on our nation seven years ago on September 11. Please send your Holy Spirit to comfort their loss and ease the pain in their hearts for losses that cannot be replaced but only remembered. And strengthen our resolve, dear Lord, to remember those who perished, and not to forget the people that they were.

Help us today also, o' Lord, not to forget our Cold War Veterans and their sacrifices as well. We give thanks to you for those who have sacrificed much so that we might have the lives and freedoms we have today. Bless us to use the freedoms we have wisely, and to wisely honor all those who helped provide these freedoms.

Finally Lord, instill in us hope, that we will see the victory in our efforts in the American Cold War Veterans to gain a Cold War Medal and a memorial, and a national day of honor for them.
We thank you God for helping us. Amen."
May you have an honorable 9-11 Memorial today.
Kindly,
Pastor David O. Clevenger, Ph.D.
Sr. National Protestant Chaplain
American Cold War Veterans