(this ‘piece’ was originally written on my church website, but I thought I’d start a place to discuss it here, given the timeliness of these events).
These comments are in no way intended to be political, but merely on
the occasion of the successful elections in Iraq to repeat the
oft-offered appreciation for those who serve in our military and other
national and foreign services. I say the successful elections
in Iraq because they happened. That alone is success as were the
formative steps of our own country’s liberation from tyranny in the American Revolution and the march to the Declaration of Independence and a Constitution, culminating in the mightiest protector of freedom in the world.
I’m watching Fox news at the moment and there is a terribly wounder soldier — horribly
maimed and scarred — who is touting the success in Iraq, stating that
“this is what the soldiers who have died have sacrificed for.” The news
article was featuring the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.
Every day a wounded veteran and their family must struggle to overcome the loss of
a limb, significant burns, or even the reality of being in a
wheelchair. Our mission is to help them overcome these obstacles and
resume a productive and fulfilling life.
I hope we will take a moment to think of, pray for, and thank those who
serve and who have served, including our own Corporal Matthew Matula
(a member of Trinity Episcopal church) who, among others, gave his life so that others — in Iraq and beyond — could have the opportunity to live freely as do we. I’m confident
that even in their daily grief, Matt, Toni and Anthony know that
Matthew contributed to something that exemplifies what America is all
Even as I write this, the news channel has video of Iraqis
going to the polls in numbers and in spite of the terror and threats of
consequences of doing so, stepped out in public, showed their faces and
even had their hands stamped with the blue ink “brand” as one who
voted. Facing guns, bullets and bombs, the Iraqi people may have voted
in higher turnout than do we in this country — initial reports are of
a 68% turnout. And it wasn’t easy, they had to walk to the polls since
the roads were shut down.
That this is happening in Iraq (click here for background on Iraq) is not what’s important.
The point is that it is happening anywhere.
Iraq is not the first country that America has liberated, but it’s the
first one in a very long time. We’ve given them the opportunity and no
matter the end result, we gave them our best.
So, my God-fearing and worshipping friends, it being my opinion that the religious segment
of this country is what keeps freedom and democracy alive, I just
wanted to share these thoughts with you. As one who does his little
part for freedom and democracy by the daily dispensing of justice, I’m
proud to worship at Terrific Trinity (my euphamism for the great place where Jennifer and I are privileged to worship) with each of you. What we Trinitarians do is important and indeed is part of this world-wide
reverberration of freedom.
As I close, please pray for all military personnel and especially for those from or with ties to Trinity:
Barkley, Will Barkley, James Barrineau, Paul Bogert, Michael Cobaugh,
Robert Eaton, Jr., W.A. Fisher, Joseph Fletchel, Tom Garven,
Christopher Hernandez, Dawn Hernandez, Serena Hokkanen, Marlin Horton,
P.C. Hudson, Andrew Hyde, Tucker Lewis, David Little, Yancey Loyless,
Craig Normand, Mark Roberts, Thomas Searle, and Tommy Sharp.