Many questions and conversations begin with “What if?” It is a fascinating thought process. I watched a series based on that very question, specifically on what if the United States had lost World War II.
In the series (called “The Man in the High Castle”), the United States is occupied by both Third Reich and Imperial Japanese forces with many suffering across the country and around the world.
I have read books and essays about what America would be like if the British had won the revolutionary war, if the South had won the Civil War, if the Germans had won World War I and/or World War II. I have been amazed by the sheer numbers of Americans killed and wounded fighting for our freedom. In our own state of Alaska, I have read accounts of the battles to retake the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska from Imperial Japanese forces.
What do each of these battles and wars have in common? Each was fought and won by American Armed Forces. The price for each victory was paid in blood. As former Secretary of State General Colin Powell said, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”
I have always made it a point to thank all who have served or are serving our nation. I have especially thanked WWII veterans. Each has been humble and pointed to the “real heroes” as those who didn’t make it home. Every Sunday in our prayers, we pray for First Responders, Armed Forces, Veterans, and their families. This Sunday I will say a special prayer for all who have fought and died in service to our great nation.
We are in the midst of Memorial Day weekend. It is not simply a day for barbecues and enjoying a day off. Memorial Day is a time to stop and give thanks for the American servicemen and servicewomen who fought and died for our freedoms as Americans.
As a Christian, I believe that Christ Jesus died for my sins and rose again. I believe that Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross with his blood. As an American, I know that American servicemen and servicewomen have fought and died for our freedom from the Revolutionary War through today in the war on terror. Each has paid the price for freedom with their blood.
Freedom is not free. I give thanks for both our Lord Jesus Christ and for those who have served our nation and those who have died in service. Though entertaining, I am thankful that we do not live in a “what if” world.
Stephen Reed is pastor at St. Paul Church on Farmers Loop next to Mushers Hall and chaplain for Police and Fire. Insight is sponsored by the Tanana Valley Christian Conference.
Printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on May 28, 2023
Married 27 years, 2 kids, 1 cat and 1 dog. Ordained & Chaplain for 20 years. Ministry philosophy - we're all in this together and Jesus leads the way. Hobbies: working in the woodshed, teaching, and competitive shooting