A Word to those who served in the Military:
To all military personnel with admiration and appreciation for your service to this great nation I salute you.
Let me share this thought with you today:
I am acutely aware that when one serves their country… That is freely setting aside the comforts of home; loved ones; family; friends; jobs; career- promotions; educational opportunities; monetary gains and much, much more, all those things are willingly sacrificed for America’s values and ideals.
You looked for no recognition, acknowledgement or fanfare.
You quietly were willing to give your all even life and limb for the freedom of others.
You represent a true patriot: “That is one who loves, supports and defends their country and its interest”.
I am reminded of the words of that great 8th century poet, Homer, when He said, “Victory shifts from man to man”.
Let me say today… “That no words; no ceremony; no ribboned-medal could adequately or sufficiently honor you, and your service to this country. That sacrifice made in the name of freedom is remembered, respected, and deeply appreciated! Your courage is recognized, and will be remembered always”.
Over the years I have performed many weddings for military personnel, either active or retired. I have officiated weddings at numerous Veterans of Foreign War and American legion Facilities (I am a life Member of both). I have preformed weddings at Veteran hospitals and other Veteran facilities.
One story I would like to share with you… recently I met a Veteran who served 16 years in the Army; he and his finance always wanted to be married on the 4th of July. However, he had served 4 consecutive combat tours in Iraq. He would have been scheduled to go to Afghanistan for the next year only it was getting close to the 4th of July and He and his finance wanted this 4th of July to be the wedding day, so I had the remarkable honor, privilege and opportunity to officiate this Wedding on the 4th of July at Chickies Rock overlooking the magnificent Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. Soldiers from his various units from all over the United States of America were in attendance. This wedding was the highlight of my 40 years in the ministry, and I thank the Lord for the joy of being part of their celebration. As a Vietnam Veteran (1967-1969) I was deeply moved… deeply moved!
Rev. Dr. Carl P. Griffin
It is the Veteran, not the preacher who has given us freedom of religion;
It is the Veteran, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press;
It is the Veteran, not the poet that has given us freedom of speech;
It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer; who has given us freedom to assemble;
It is the Veteran, not the lawyer; who has given us the right to a fair trial;
It is the Veteran, not the politician who has given us the right to vote;
It is the Veteran, my friend who salutes the flag.