Hopefully, you remembered our heroes on Memorial Day

| June 3, 2016 | 0 Comments
In honor of Memorial Day, the Survivor Outreach Services program has set up an "Honor and Remembrance" display at the Schofield Barracks Post Exchange honoring our fallen heroes. (Courtesy of Survivor Outreach Services, Army Community Service, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation)

In observance of Memorial Day, the Survivor Outreach Services program set up an “Honor and Remembrance” display at the Schofield Barracks Post Exchange honoring America’s fallen heroes. (Courtesy of Survivor Outreach Services, Army Community Service, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation)


Chaplain (Maj.) John Grauer
Plans and Operations Chaplain
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

In Marvel’s introductory movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Steve Rogers is rejected for military duty during World War II because of health and physical problems.

While attending a showing of technologies with his friend, Sgt. Barnes, Rogers is overheard in a conversation about wanting to help in the war. Rogers is finally allowed to enlist and is recruited into the Strategic Scientific Reserve as part of an experiment to make Rogers a super soldier.

However, many of the scientists and promoters of this test are not convinced that Rogers (later Captain America) is the best person for this process, for Rogers must undergo a procedure that will change his life. But the movie also shows Rogers, who in spite of physical deficiencies, behaves with courage and bravery. It is these acts that turn Rogers into a superhero.


Capt. Steve Rogers, 1-26th Inf. Regt., 1st Inf. Div. (Photo courtesy of Marvel Entertainment LLC)

Perhaps it’s only fitting to talk about Captain America as we recall Memorial Day. Captain America is a person who is portrayed in movies and the comics as a “war hero” who wears the colors of the flag and fights battles on our behalf.

It is Captain America’s patriotism that draws us into rooting for a person who guards the values of freedom that the nation has fought so hard to maintain. That sense of duty is the same sense of obligation that all our veterans share.

It is the service in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Overseas Contingency Operations that gives us a camaraderie that can never be broken.

As Soldiers, veterans and survivors of war, we had an opportunity on Memorial Day (as well as all other days) to honor our fallen comrades and mourn those who gave their life for their country.

In the latest movie, “Captain America: Civil War,” the film has an appropriate title to what often happens in our own life when we fight battles within ourselves.

By definition, civil war means war between parties, factions or inhabitants of different regions within the same nation. For many of our veterans, we fight battles – physical, spiritual and emotional skirmishes that war inside of us – and those clashes seem far too close.

Go to any military hospital, and you’ll see Soldiers going through years of difficult bouts of physical therapy sustained during combat or having a difficult time experiencing solace through counseling as they remember the brutal realities of war and seeing a brother or sister in arms who gave his/her life for the nation … and for us.

The veterans of war will never be the same, but they don’t have to be the same. The courage of those who have gone before us brings to us hope that whatever befalls us, it can be overcome.

In remembering the sacrifices of all who served in military service, let us also remember the stories of veterans who, through perseverance, learned to walk again with a prosthetic leg, or the veteran who courageously deals with the realities of war and learns to love again.

Some veterans come home with memories that will haunt them, but remember – freedom is never free and it always costs.

Our hope this past Memorial Day was to remember what “we” have: family, friends and God.

We need to always hold close that which is dear to us, so say a prayer of thank you to your “hero.” You will never be forgotten.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Observances, Standing Columns

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