Honoring Those Who Serve America

On September 10, Christ Episcopal Church, in Kennesaw, Ga., will hold our second annual Patriotic Event. Our church is small, and we expect a full house. It’s not Independence Day, nor is it Memorial Day.

The event is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the terrorist attacks five years ago. The event, the brainchild of my good friend Todd Porter, provides an opportunity for the members of our congregation to reflect on those attacks, and to honor and remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day. We’ll pray for the victims of the attack, and their friends and families as well. We’ll offer a prayer for the heroes on flight 93, who refused to succumb to the maniacal demands of Islamofacists with designs on destroying the White House, and paid for their heroism with their lives. We’ll thank God for the men and women with the courage and dedication to serve our great Nation now, and those who’ve done so throughout our history. Don’t we owe them that much?

The event is also intended to honor the “first” responders such as firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians. This honor, too, is well deserved. These people work extremely hard, under the most difficult circumstances, around the clock to keep us safe and secure. We’ll say a special prayer asking God to protect the members of New York City’s fire and police departments, and to take special care of those now with Him, who acted so selflessly the day of the attacks. The recent capture of 24 terror suspects in Britain magnifies the importance of these people and is a stark reminder that vigilance and readiness must continue to be our top priorities. We simply cannot afford to let our guard down without risking another attack.

A considerable part of the event will be dedicated to honoring the military personnel who have done, and still do, so much to safeguard our liberty and freedom. Their dedication and sacrifice deserve our gratitude as well as our prayers and support. Our nation’s history is rich with examples of heroes wearing the uniform of the United States. From Valley Forge to Baghdad and a thousand places in between, the U.S. Armed Forces have acted with great skill, great courage, and great compassion since the time of George Washington. As Veteran’s Day is only a few short months away, we’ll be blessed to have the unique opportunity to honor our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen not once, but twice. This, indeed, is a fitting tribute.

September 11 is still a week or so away, but as we enjoy the tail end of summer and celebrate the American labor movement, let’s not forget all the people who won’t be there to enjoy the end of summer barbecue. Let’s remember the cop, fire fighter, EMT and soldier, standing guard so we can enjoy these things. After all, they make it all possible.

I’d like to see this Patriotic Event become a regular event in every church, synagogue, and community around the country. It isn’t much, but it shows the people who care for us just how much we care for them. If Hollywood, Broadway, and the music industry can honor their own each year, why shouldn’t ordinary Americans honor our patriots and heroes? I’m certain that Todd Porter never thought the Patriotic Event would become a National standard, but I certainly do think it would be appropriate. What do you think?

A Side Note to Honor Military Veterans

Unbeknown to many, The Defense Authorization Act of 1998 contains a provision to honor ALL veterans of the Cold War. Specifically, any person who served between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 is entitled to the “Cold War Recognition Certificate.” This includes certain civilian as well as military personnel. I strongly recommend you visit if you, or someone you know, fits this category. This is an excellent way to honor those who’ve served out Nation with honor and courage. The application process and all other information can be found on this site.


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