PASTORS BLOG: November 14, 2018
One of the most dramatic stories out of the Civil War is about Colonel Joshua Chamberlain.  He received orders from General George Meade to shoot 120 deserters or take them with him into battle at Gettysburg. No one was to be allowed to return home. The Union army at this time was demoralized and in disarray but Chamberlain’s decision was monumental.  He walked slowly to where the deserters waited. He had to decide in a few minutes the fate of these men. Would he order them
executed or would he go into battle with men who had shown cowardice? In that dramatic moment in American history, Colonel Chamberlain, instead of shooting the frightened deserters, ordered that they be unshackled immediately. He fed them a meal, listened to their grievances. He told them he was ordered to shoot them or take them into battle.  He promised them that he would not give that order.  He told them, “This is free ground.  No man has to bow. No man is born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do.  Here you can be somebody. Here is a place to build a home.  We are not fighting for land. I am not asking you to die for dirt.  We are all fighting for each other.” Once he instilled values in them, 116 of the 120 deserters joined him in his march to Gettysburg and the rest is history. One hundred and sixteen men were willing to die for the idea that all people have value.
So, this week, we salute all veterans who served this country and many of them gave up their tomorrows for our todays.  Last sabbath, just before honoring veterans in our congregation, a mother came to me and asked me, “Will you be honoring even the parents whose children are currently serving in the army?” I looked at the dictionary for the meaning of Veteran and it read:  ‘An old soldier of long service or a former member of the armed forces.’  So I did not honor the parents
of the ones serving currently.  Later on I thought to myself, how mean of me not to do so. Those children are sacrificing so that I can be safe.  So I sincerely apologize and  salute  every service person currently serving, as well as their parents, for their commitment and sacrifice.
Shalom, Shalom! 
Franklin G. David
“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.”