Today is set apart to honor those who have fallen in the defense of our country. These are some observations that I shared with my family and offer for yours.
Honor to Whom Honor is Owed
Part of Romans 13:7 is “Pay to all what is owed to them … honor to whom honor is owed.” We are called, as Americans and as Christians, to give honor to our fallen. There is no license for us to distinguish between those who offered to serve willingly and those who went reluctantly. Part of our time may be used to underscore those who served with distinction. However, this is a time to honor all.
The Department of Defense
Our military is under the authority of the Department of Defense. Until shortly after World War II the Department of Defense was known as the United States Department of War. The name change was made to emphasize that the focus is defense and not aggression. Although there are suggestions that the US has been an aggressor in places such as Vietnam and Iraq, these are not cases of annexation. It can be observed that the US defeated Germany and Japan in World War II and immediately began the process of rebuilding those nations and returning their freedom. Although the process is not always smooth, the same is happening today in Iraq.
After the War Between the States the Posse Comitatus Act (“the power of the county”) was established to limit the use of the military for internal operations. These limitations have been crumbling due to pressures such as the war on drugs in the 1980s and hurricane Katrina in 2005. The result is the door is opening wider for the use of military power to quell an unsubmissive populace.
The Military and Tyranny
Has our own military been used against our own people in our land before? Of course! What we call today the United States of America, was once a British Colony and we were British Citizens. As British Citizens our ancestors rose in rebellion against our own government, spelled out our grievances in the Declaration of Independence, and took up arms to fight the government.
Those souls that died fighting for our independence deserve an additional distinction. It takes courage to take orders from your military leaders and follow through on the battlefield. It goes way beyond courage to cast off your government and military leaders and commit your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor to fight against them.
Foreign aggressors are ever present and vigilance on the part of our military is a must. However, a free people must be ever vigilant in protecting our own freedom. The history of governments is to oppress and kill more of their own people than foreigners. Until heaven, we will never be beyond that.