Friday, November 11

This Veterans' Day

Today is Veterans' Day, a special day that is set aside to honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Of course, today is also Armistice Day, the day that the armistice ending World War I was signed, so other countries are remembering their veterans today, as well.

I have always had the deepest regard and respect for veterans, and my husband and I have reared our children to have that same respect. In 2014 we got to take what for us was the trip of a lifetime: we took our boys to Normandy. There we all wept and prayed at these sights:

This year, I've had a chance to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. One year ago, my oldest son took this oath:

"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

This photo was taken just after he was commissioned. As you can see, he's not a veteran yet. And he's still in training, so his experiences pale in comparison to veterans'. This day is not to honor him; it's to honor the men and women who have gone before him.

But this year has taught me a lot about what could lie in store for him. Because no matter the cost to himself or his family, he will fulfill the oath he took last year.

On the day after the election, when so many of us were bemoaning the state of things in our country, my son was up at 4:00 AM, preparing for an early-morning flight.

This election season, I've heard a lot of talk about the Constitution. Apparently talk really is cheap, because there's certainly been plenty of it lately. And I've heard so many people, especially on social media, scoff at our country. Well, our Constitution guarantees them the right to scoff.  

At least on this day, though, I would hope that even the most scornful could understand that the rights they take for granted must be defended. And that defense doesn't come from clever Twitter posts or irate Facebook rants.

No, it's the men and women who have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution who will continue to ensure those rights. People like my son. May God protect and bless them all.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Oh Christ, whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit, who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them whereso'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.


  1. I am grateful for the men and women that serve and protect our country. May God keep your son safe as he serves. Thank you for this good reminder.

  2. God bless your son as he serves our country, Richella. I am saddened by what is happening after this election. I feel we need to unite and stand strong and support our president no matter what our personal feelings are-although I know it is our right to voice our opinions. I am praying for peace for all of us as we move forward. xo Diana
    ps. God bless you, too. I know how hard it is to have a son gone....

  3. Richella, I retired from the USAF and thank you for such a wonderful post. Please thank your son for me, for his service and sacrifice for his country!

  4. So glad I found you in Hope*Writers after you kindly posted on my blog today! You must so incredibly proud of you son :) LOVE the words of this beautiful hymn... puts everything in perspective. Blessings to you and yours!

  5. Thank you for sharing these words Richella. I do appreciate those who have served our country and those who are currently serving. Thank you for sharing your son with us. I pray God's blessings on him and protection over him. God bless our country.


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