Former president Obama’s defenders say his failure to salute the soldiers was an oversight—that it’s unfair to judge. However, the dishonor he felt toward our men and women in uniform showed through many times during his presidency. This isn’t a photo of a distracted president. It’s a snapshot of his heart recorded for all time.
President Trump by contrast, goes out of his way to honor our soldiers. Nothing can distract him from saluting our brave men and women. President Trump understands honor. Memorial Day is all about honor.
Look at the two pictures again: Obama strides past two men who earned the right to be honor guards through years of excellent service. They are being ignored by a man who essentially leap-frogged from community organizer to president. On the other hand, Trump—a captain of industry for decades—is humbled to be saluted by these men of valor.
It has been said that only two forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American soldier. Let that settle into your spirit.
Jesus Himself knew the kind of character and faith military service could create:
Luke 7:1 “Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 5 ‘for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.’
6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “
‘Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’
9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, ‘I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’ 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.”
Let’s be haunted today by the images of moms separated from young children—of men serving in dark and foreboding forward positions with only dreams of home—of wounded warriors returning home to fight a lifelong battle with their injuries—and most of all, remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and never saw home again.
If there’s not a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye when you think about the sacrifices made for us, then God help you. On the other hand, if today, God blesses you to thank a soldier or visit the grave of a fallen hero to give honor, be grateful. Romans 13:7 “…and give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due.” Amen.