While flying off the carrier, we use to ‘kid’ the other pilots asking if they did not return could we have their stereo set or something of similar importance. This comment was brought on by youth and the idea that each thought he was invincible. When someone did not return, we rationalized that person’s death by saying to ourselves, “That could never happen to me. Old…… just screwed-up.” However, with each passing year and the passing of close friends and family, each of us comes to the realization that we are human and that means there is no way out of this world except through death! Each of us, at his or her appointed time and place, will face death. I strongly believe, a living hope, that I and others who believe in Our Lord, will not face death alone; that there is everlasting life after ‘crossing the bar’.
During the last couple of weeks, we lost two members of our Post – Charles Siljig, a Korean War Vet, and Kenneth Pearl, a Vietnam Vet. Our Post sent cards to the families of these our fellow Comrades in arms who have gone to be with their Lord.
The Order for the Burial of the Dead opens with the following:
I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger.
We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!
As members of VFW Post 8870, what each of us can do is to rededicate ourselves to our Nation – to our fellow veterans, our community, and especially our youth: the next generation – so each remembers that our government “of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. If those words sound familiar, they should. They are borrowed from President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Each of us should live everyday as if it were our last, doing good, and helping our fellow man. Because today just may be our last!