Cal’s Comments: “The Medal Of Honor”
By Cal Zastrow
October 4, 2008
1 Samuel 2:30 “Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for they that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
Being as we don’t have a television, my children enjoy reading. In military history, reading about the battle of Iwo Jima during WWII has interested my sons, especially after visiting with Dick Carlson earlier this year. He was a sailor aboard a U.S. Navy destroy who survived WWII in the Pacific. It is gripping to hear him recall going days and nights without sleep while firing artillery shells at Okinawa and other enemy-held islands. I can’t identify with the stress and fear he felt for years while watching for enemy submarines and airplanes. After sixty years, he still gets choked up telling about seeing the American flag raised on Mount Surabachi on Iwo Jima. Mr. Carlson served with honor. His family, friends, church, and country honored him.
Last month our whole family met Hershel Williams. Mr. Williams was a U.S. Marine who fought on Iwo Jima. Out of 279 men in his company to land and fight together for the first ten days, he was one of only seventeen that wasn’t killed or wounded. Courageously advancing under intense fire from enemy pillboxes of reinforced concrete, he would get close enough to destroy fortified positions with flamethrowers. For his actions he received our nation’s highest award for military heroism, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society held their bi-annual convention in Denver recently. I applied early and received six free tickets to the autograph-signing session. Self-sacrificing love and courage had caused these men to go above and beyond the call of duty to repeatedly risk their lives to save others.
My sons shook hands with Air Force (ret.) Col. Bud Day who had survived over five years of imprisonment as a P.O.W. in North Vietnam. Rather than say or write a negative word about his country to the communist enemies, he endured crippling and lengthy tortures. While bleeding, shackled, and being beaten for weeks with little rest, he prayed to God and repeated, “Return with honor.”
He saw his duty. He made his choice beforehand. He was prepared to die during sustained torture rather than speak or act with dishonor. My daughters heard some great men give praise to the great God for helping them. Some signatures accompanied Bible verses.
We listened to John Baca briefly describe the presence and peace of God when he was blown up by diving on a grenade and absorbing it’s blast. He thought of saving his buddies when he instantly dove without considering his own comfort or life.
Yes, we bought the book about these men, but the C.M.O.H. Society gave each hero printed cards to sign and give away. Each card had their picture, a short summary of their heroic actions, and a quote from them. Some of their printed quotes included:
“Love your enemies and bless those who curse you.” Rudolfo P. Hernandez
“Courage is knowing when to go. Judgment is knowing when not to go. The mix of the two is leadership.” Bruce P. Crandall
“Your integrity is the most valuable asset you have. Never jeopardize it.” Robert M. Patterson
“No matter how difficult it seems at the time, it’s easier to do the right thing than spend a lifetime regretting that you didn’t.” Robert O’Malley
“Our freedom, envied the world over, was attained at great personal sacrifice - we cannot allow it to wither away through apathy.” Thomas J. Hudner, Jr.
“Every day has its test, and every time we fail to do what is right, we weaken our character and the character of this great country.” Robert J. Modrzejewski
None of the men were bragging about themselves. Some just wanted to talk about Jesus. While watching the men sign quickly, one of my children would say, “Sir, thank you for serving. Thank you for sacrificing.”
One disabled hero dismissed this, “I didn’t sacrifice anything.”
Another grinned, “You’re welcome. I did it so you could be safe and free.”
One said, “I had no choice.”
I knew that he did have a choice back then. He could have shirked his duty, his honor, and his friends, but I didn’t say so. To a man of honor, it does not enter his mind to act dishonorably or fail in his duty. Courage rises quickly and sufficiently when a man has honor and is confronted with danger or dishonor. Some men did their heroic actions all alone while some had been part of a squad or unit.
One man with large scars handed me back our book with his signature and a Gospel tract containing his testimony of being born again.
Time ran out before we could get autographs from each noble veteran there. These elderly men were ushered away to their next event. Their hometowns have honored them with parades and tributes. Some have had streets named after them. Car dealers have given some of them cars. Resort owners give them free vacations. Schools and civic groups invite them to speak. Veterans and soldiers applaud them wherever they go. Rightly so, they are honored. We wished we could have had time to ask questions and befriend these military heros.
Most Americans, including sailors and soldiers, are never presented with the opportunity to perform actions that will merit receiving the M.O.H. You may never have the one-second option to dive on a live grenade to save your neighbor’s life by sacrificing your own. The occurance of fame from heroism is very rare, the opportunity to act with honor presents itself to each of us often each day. Although you can’t run into a burning building to save a child’s life this week, you can go outside of a murder pit (deceptively called an “abortion clinic”) and help to save the lives of preborn children about to be murdered. You can think, act, and speak with honor at whatever your duty is, cleaning the house or helping your neighbors.
In a violent culture that calls child-sacrifice “freedom to choose,” people who oppose the violence become unpopular, unwelcomed, and criminalized.
We’ve seen nine saves in front of America’s largest baby-butcher-building, Planned Parenthood, in Denver during the last few weeks. On Tuesday, Sept. 16th, I watched a woman come out of her Jeep and stick her arm in the passenger side. She jerked it back out with her hand clenched around the neck of a teenage girl. The woman was cursing the girl while shoving her into the death pit by the neck. I didn’t have a video camera. I called out, “Miss! If you say, ‘No,’ they can’t cut you or hurt you in there! There’s help available! Don’t let them hurt you or your baby…”
She stayed in to kill. The neck-grabbing woman proudly said upon leaving, “I’m a Christian!”
Instead of listening to the Scripture or my exhortation, she is choosing to believe the “ministers” that tell her that she is a child of God and that God’s love for her is unconditional. I still feel sick thinking of the murdered babies, the people who will be thrown into hell for doing the murdering, and the false shepherds who won’t stop the slaughter.
One of the babies saved months ago in Denver was just born. Mrs. Jo Scott was there to talk the mother out of killing. Jo was there to help with the pregnancy and the birth. Being as the mother gave her baby up in an open adoption, she gave her son his first and middle names, Joseph Scott.
Honor like this makes up for a lot of abuse from abortionists (and pro-lifers who reject street ministry). Plus, Jo Scott had to go back to court on Sept. 30. Planned Parenthood wasn’t happy that she wasn’t in jail or banned from the block upon which they are located. They petitioned the court to amend her sentence. Thankfully, God answered prayer and the judge rejected the vile recommendations from Planned Parenthood.
We also met Sherri Williams last month. About twenty years ago, she was raped while in high school. Resisting tremendous pressure from her parents and doctor to murder her baby, she protected her child and then gave it to some Christian missionaries who adopted and raised this baby. The adult daughter researched and found her birth mother. What a reunion. What an honor.
Well, it’s time for me to get off of the computer and call volunteers to go pass out personhood literature at various events and churches around Colorado the next few days. Scheduling Ron Brock to drive his Truth Truck around the Broncos football game, six circus performances, the Race for the Cure, some churches, and a big political fund-raiser will take detailed coordination. Although the pro-abortion world despises Ron and his truck, although he has been beaten, unjustly jailed, and threatened too many times to recall, he still lives in his truck which proclaims the Gospel 24/7. He’ll never be given an honorary medal on earth, but my family and others honor and encourage him. He (and other Christian pro-life activists) will get the real honor when he reaches heaven and hears, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”
America will not continue long at this rate. Either we’ll have national repentance and revival or God’s judgment will crush our economy, culture, safety, and sin-tolerating churches. Either our children and grandchildren will honor us and thank us for stopping the shedding of innocent blood or they will suffer greatly and ask us, “Why didn’t you stand and stop the evil when you could have?”
May this verse not be true of us: Isaiah 29:13 “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by precept of men.”blog comments powered by Disqus