Memorial Day, Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day Tribute From An Abnormally Born Soldier…

A Memorial Day Tribute to the American Soldier…

I suppose I should have waited until the 4th of July to tell of this tale, but I could wait no longer to share this story of the abnormally born soldier.  However, with the 4th drawing near, maybe it’s just as fitting.

A few years ago, on a sultry 4th of July evening, my family and I sat in our driveway watching the annual celebration of America’s Independence.  My wife sat in a lawn-chair, while I clung tightly to my little boy as we joyously watched from the lowered tailgate of my Chevy truck.

The beautiful colors from the fireworks that illuminated impressions upon the darkened sky were shortly thereafter followed by Thunderous Booms… the echoes of a battle fought well over 200 years ago.  One after another, the explosions rang out, as my little boy became more and more frightened by the ear-tingling sounds.

“Daddy, can we go in?” he asked, expressing his fear of the intensity of the explosions.

“Absolutely!” I answered, kissing him atop the brow as I slid off the tailgate and handed him over to his mother. 

As my wife carried our little boy into the house, I packed up the lawn-chair and tossed it into the bed of my truck.

And that’s when it happened… 

As I began to close the tailgate of my truck, thunderous explosions Rang Out! once more from the North.  I whipped my head around to witness the colorful pattern in the sky, just as more Booms! came from the East… then even more from the West!  A chain of firecrackers began Crackling! off in the distance, emulating the sounds of semi-automatic weapons being fired at the enemy… which was immediately followed by even more explosions and more crackling.

Frozen in the moment, I closed my eyes and just… listened!

The cries of war surrounded me.  The echoes from the many American battlefields of history were upon me… from the Revolutionary War, to the Gulf War, to the battlefields of Afghanistan.  I felt as if I was a soldier crouched in a bunker, listening to the explosions from the heavens that force a warrior to deny his instinct of fleeing, and instead, compel him to become the hero he truly is.

I was an Abnormally Born Soldier… one of whom was not worthy to carry the title of “American Soldier,” let alone to even share the same battlefield with the American Heroes who have actually served this great country – having propelled us to Freedom.  I was simply blessed to be given an experience (as subtle as it might have been), of having a glimpse into what the phrases “Memorial Day” and  “Independence Day” truly mean.

An incredible force of emotion filled my heart; slowly creeping upward to form a giant lump in my throat.  When suddenly, as if peering through the spyglass with Francis Scott Key, I opened my tear-filled eyes to see the most beautiful array of colors flash across the midnight sky – to the sound of a beautiful familiar tune:

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night, that our Flag was still there…”

My cup was overflowing with a newfound wisdom that masqueraded as tears rolling down my cheeks… a wisdom that gave birth to both joy and shame.  The joy of having been born in the land of the free, and the shame of all too often having taken that freedom for granted… having wasted so much of my freedom on many things worth dying for, but very few things worth living for. 

And there I stood.  In awe.  A soldier who was one born abnormally.

In the 15th Chapter of the Book of 1st Corinthians, the Apostle Paul makes mention that he had been abnormally born as an Apostle, when telling of the resurrected Christ appearing:

“Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

Paul hadn’t walked with Christ during his time on earth, however, his life was changed forever when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Having been spiritually blind all his life, his eyes were finally opened to the truth and he became abnormally born. Though Paul didn’t get to experience everything that had taken place while Christ walked among us, he was given the ability and wisdom to understand.  And afterwards, Paul longed to experience the sufferings of Christ.

Becoming as One Abnormally Born

We all experience those moments of clarity in life.  It can happen on the eve of a sultry 4th of July, while sitting in traffic on the way to work, or even while attending a funeral of a loved one.  Nevertheless, these moments of clarity give us the answers as to what is truly worth living for.

Christ tells us there is no greater love than that of a man who lays down his life for another.  And that is exactly what American Soldiers have done. 

Crouched in their bunkers, with explosions and enemy fire all around them, they choose to overcome their fears and become the heroes they truly are.  American Heroes. 

On this Memorial Day, let us not forget that our Freedom has never been given to us for free.  It came at the price of those who were brave enough to lay down their lives in order that the rest of us wouldn’t have too.

Therefore, today, along with every other day we are given, we Americans should live our lives in such a way that is free from the self-righteous thought of entitlement, but exults the heartfelt attitude that freedom most certainly does not come free.  And we should all stand firm in a unified way that expresses the fulfillment of the idea that we will not recklessly abandon the morals and values the men and women of our great nation have given their lives for simply because someone might become offended at these God-given Truths.

God Bless The American Soldiers,

The Christian Business Leader 


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