Precious Words on Veteran’s Day

by Mollianne on November 11, 2014

{The following is a speech given by my Grandfather, Rev. Malcolm Younger, after he returned from serving as a Chaplain in the United States Army. He served in the Pacific. I found the speech recently while unpacking boxes at my Mother’s house. It was written in his fine, clear handwriting on paper that has yellowed with age. His words touched me. I hope they will touch you as well. To all the Veterans in my life, my Sweet Daddy, my Bobo, my ex-husband, my son, my brothers,my great-uncles, my cousin,  my nephew, all of their comrades at arms and those of  my friends who have served… I thank you with a grateful heart  for your service. The reasons you served matter not to me. That you served does. God bless you and God bless America. ~Mollianne}

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Our Heritage

It is fitting that we gather here this afternoon to pay tribute to those who have given their lives in defense of the liberty which we are privileged to enjoy today.  We would be most ungrateful to go thoughtlessly and carelessly on our way without pausing to pay our respects to the memory of those men who made the supreme sacrifice that we might be free citizens of a free world. We come not only to honor those of the First World War but to link with them the thousands who laid down their lives in the conflict just closed.

Not only do we honor those who have died but the millions as well who suffered and sacrificed on the field of battle that the freedom of all men might be maintained.

The glorious deeds of these men have been written on the pages of history and will live to give inspiration to future generations and to remind them of the terrible price that was called for.  Their courage, their loyalty, their unselfishness, their devotion to duty and their faithfulness in carrying out orders should stir our hearts and inspire those who come after us to carry forward the ideals of freedom to greater heights than ever before attained.

It is no longer possible for a nation to isolate itself from the world.  Because of this fact, we must learn to live as world citizens.  Because of the development of radio, the events in any section of the world are known in the other sections in the matter of a few hours.  The development of the airplane has placed the most remote spot on the globe just a few hours’ flight from your house and mine.  The world of today is truly a neighborhood closely related.  The problem of our living together or being destroyed completely must be faced and met.  The world must learn to live together or be destroyed.  The future looms before us with great promise but is fraught with grave dangers.  Peace must be no longer something we hope and pray for but a reality.  In the past, when tyranny raised his ugly head, were able to meet the challenge and defeat it before it could gain too great an advantage.  But with the development of atomic powers, can we be sure and certain that such will be true again?  The only solution lies in learning to live together, to understand each other and to make it difficult for one nation to start such a program as to throw the world into another conflict such as has just closed.  The challenge is ours and the blood of the men we honor today calls for us to make it so that no longer will the needless sacrifice of men be necessary to maintain peace.  Our nation is taking a leading part in trying to make such a program and should receive the hearty support of all of us.  If such a plan succeeds—and it can and must succeed—the world will have peace and men will live together for the betterment of mankind.

We should dedicate ourselves to those principles that make for freedom and liberty.  Let us look beyond the sacrifices and see a glorious new day and as we view it remember that all will be possible because some gave their lives to make it possible.  Let us build upon the past a more glorious future.  It will be possible only as we give ourselves to the task.

If we are to have brotherhood among all people, we must have brotherhood here at home.  The prejudices, the intolerances and the suppressions must be put aside and overcome by each of us so that equality of opportunity might be a reality. The prejudices against races and creeds…the intolerance of religions and races…the suppression of people by either capital or labor must be done away with to the extent that true liberty might prevail and a true ideal of brotherhood might be attained.

If we are to succeed in doing and accomplishing the highest possible for our country and in justice to those who have given their lives…we must give our best to maintain that which has been so dearly bought. The home, the church, the democratic way of life…all were included in the thoughts of these men as they went forth to battle.  Their hopes, their aims, their ideals and their dreams were built around these three great institutions.  So we who gather here to honor them must realize that it is our task to build each of these into what they should be for the betterment of mankind.

The problems we face are tremendous.  And make no mistake about it:  they are, fundamentally spiritual problems.  Political and economic formulas are not sufficient; they never have been and never will be.  Political intrigues, money, property, barter and trade, industrial misunderstandings and irritations have been the breeders of most of our wars.  We must move from that to a more spiritual concept of the meaning of life, and incorporate that concept into our everyday relations with our fellow-man.  We will have to stand united{ly} together for that concept, if we are to stem the rising tide of dissention, selfishness, and greed.  It is our privilege and responsibility to hold together in the bonds of Christian brotherhood.”

There comes to us who loved these men, a most solemn sacred trust.  This time we must not fail.  This time we must give those crosses, those stars, their crowning glory.  This time we must start from there to build a trail to peace…a trail that will lead us ultimately to the world –wide brotherhood.”

The blood of our sons, sweethearts, fathers, friends…like the voice of the Divine Son, says to us, “This do in remembrance of me.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen Strong November 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

Wow, Mollianne! What words to have as part of your legacy. Your grandfather’s speech was incredibly moving, and then the last couple lines brought tears.

Thank you for linking this up. What a gift to read this morning.

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Mollianne November 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

Thank you, Kristen. It was very moving to me to read these words penned so long ago by a man I loved so dearly. I only heard of him talk of his service in the War a few times. He did some extraordinary things, but like almost all of the men of his generation, he didn’t speak of them often.

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Joy DeKok November 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

This is wonderful. I’m sharing it all over!

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Mollianne November 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

Thank you, Joy. My Grandfather was an extraordinary man and I only heard him speak of his War experiences a few times. Many, many years after his death, my mother learned through other people some of the amazing and selfless thing he did during his service.

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