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Gladbrook Memorial Day

May 30, 2019
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The Gladbrook/Lincoln area Memorial Day Services were conducted on a very windy and rainy day May 27th. The service was coordinated by the Avenue of Flags Committee of the Gladbrook American Legion & Auxiliary and Lincoln AMVETS and Auxiliary. Pastor Joe Hackett of the Peace United Church of Christ gave the address for our veterans at the 15 Mile Grove Cemetery, Maple Hill Cemetery, Badger Hill Cemetery, Chapel Cemetery, Union Grove Cemetery, Union Grove Beach (for those lost at sea) Crystal Cemetery, and Gethmann Cemetery. At these services there were laying of wreaths, honor guard & firing squad and TAPS. At 11:00 a larger service was conducted at the Gladbrook All-Veterans Memorial. After Pastor Hackett began the program with a prayer, the G-R Band played the “National Anthem” and Legionnaires raised the flags. The American flag was raised by Korean War veteran, Lynn Steiert. Pastor Joe Hackett’s address: This weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day. A day first observed on May 30, 1868, to honor those who died in the Civil War. Now, on Memorial Day, we honor the memories of all those who have died in the military in the service of the United States of America. We would do well to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom this morning. There have been hundreds of thousands of great soldiers in this country’s history. While we honor the war dead throughout America’s history this morning, another great Soldier comes to my mind. When we gather to celebrate the Lord’s supper at a Sunday service, we call to mind the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was a good soldier. Even while we honor our war dead and our resurrected Warrior, there is another great group of soldiers that comes to mind on this day. I am reminded of those in Christ’s Army who have died on the battlefields of faith and the legacy that they left behind. I am referring to people like those mentioned in Hebrews 11.great men and women of God who were good soldiers of the cross and who died on the battlefield to preserve our precious faith. As we think of these people who have sacrificed so much for us, I want to remind you of a very awesome truth. One day, our lives will all be over. One day, every person with us today, will be just a memory to those living on this planet. When it comes time for you to leave this world, what kind of legacy will you leave behind? When people remember the kind of person you were, will they remember you as a soldier of the cross? The time to think about these things is now, today. After you are gone, it will be way too late! As St. Paul neared the end of his life, he languished in a Roman prison. But from that cell, the great Apostle took steps to ensure that he would be remembered as a good solider of the cross. He took time to write to a letter to Timothy and give him the secrets for becoming a good soldier. I would like to share with all of you this morning the 5 qualities of a good soldier. I hope this will encourage us to accept the challenge to become the best soldiers that we can be for the glory of the Lord. #1 They are a Follower: First, they must join the army, this is the start of the relationship. This join is only accomplished by receiving Jesus as one’s Savior. By doing this it implies that there is a Rank- there is always someone higher than you. Every child of God is ranked under Jesus and is responsible for following Him and His will for their lives. There are then rules to follow. We don’t have a choice on which ones we will follow. We have an obligation as a good solider to obey God’s orders throughout our lives until our death. They are Followers #2 They are Faithful: Followers endure hardships but don’t quit. A good soldier realizes that there will be troubles along the way and is not detoured by them. As faithful followers of Christ, we need to realize that we will face a life that requires us to exercise patience. God is patient. The faithful have priorities. The soldier seeks to please the Commander. The good soldier knows that anything which interferes with his performance in the military must be done away with. The good solider wants to please his Superior and does whatever it takes to get the job done. Pleasing God ought to be the first priority of every child of God. The way priorities are lived out can get us into trouble. The good soldier takes care of the things delivered to them. They are determined to do a good job, and they refuse to do anything to bring disgrace and dishonor upon their Superior. As a Christian soldier, we are charged to live our lives in a manner that brings honor to the Lord. How are we keeping the faith in today’s world? First the soldier is a Follower then they are Faithful and now, # 3 They are Familiar: They are familiar with the things they need to be good at their job. They become more comfortable with and know the voice of their Superior. Listening to that voice becomes easier over time. They are skillful in the use of their weapons. The good soldier knows he is engaged in spiritual warfare and must know the tools issued to them inside and out. This will serve them well as they fight the good fight. When they engage the enemy, they will need to know the enemies’ strengths and weaknesses. The enemy is always active and never rests. The good soldier knows that the enemy is shrewd and ever attacking, but they also know the Lord is there to help them. No matter the trap, God will make a way for the good solider to escape. Just as God looks out for the good soldier, they need to look out for their people. They keep a watch over the welfare of their fellow soldiers as well as their own. That good soldier is: A follower, Is Faithful, Is familiar. And now is also a Fighter: The good solider does not retreat in the face of the enemy. They don’t run from a fight. Instead, they stand their ground and fight until the battle is over. They are determined. The good soldier is also driven. The good solider realizes that the battle doesn’t run according to their time frame. They know that another is in charge of the duration of the battle, but the good solider is driven to finish. This is dedication. The good soldier keeps their oath, keeps the faith by living it, sharing it and defending it at all times. Faith is precious to the good soldier. Last, they are a Finisher: They have resolved to be in the fight for the long haul. They don’t quite at the first signs of discomfort or trouble. In today’s world, we need people that have a long-term vision to keep the faith. They also know the reason they follow their Leader selflessly. The good solider knows the price that was paid by their Superior for them to have a place in this army. They know that Jesus died for them to make way for them to have salvation from all the trials and tribulations suffered here on earth. The good soldier knows that when the battle here on earth ends, their reward is waiting for them by the Commander and Chief, every selfless deed will be recognized by God. The Lord will welcome you by saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” As we conclude our time here today, would you classify yourself as a good soldier? If you are like me, there are areas in our lives that can use some work to make us better soldiers. We can always change our lives to make them better tools for God to use to get His message about Grace and Love to those that are battling the enemy and keeping them from Gods greatness. Please join me in prayer: Father in heaven, this is no time to glory in war, but rather to remember and give thanks for those who have cherished freedom and liberty more than life. As we recall in thanksgiving, the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen who have lost their lives in defense of America. Let us rededicate our lives to the ideals for which they paid the supreme price. Their legacy is our birthright and our responsibility. Help us to perform the mission placed in our hands that generations yet unborn will continue to enjoy the freedoms we hold dear. Grant us skill, dedication, and courage for the daily tasks of maintaining the bright torch of liberty. By your grace and by your power, let us mount up as eagles- run and not grow weary- walk and not faint- that our land may ever exist in peace and security. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen. After Pastor Hackett’s address, two poppy wreaths were laid in front of the two veterans stones by Gladbrook Auxiliary President Jeanne Paustian and AMVET Auxiliary President Karen Lage. The service concluded by the G-R Band playing a patriotic medley, followed by the benediction, the salute by the firing squad, and TAPS. Sam Cahalan did a beautiful job of playing TAPS. Members of the Honor Guard & Firing Squad included: Ron Busch, Bob Knaack, Russ Rosenberger, Dennis Haack, Leo Lohse, Jim Gethmann, Terry Schmitz, Jim Schneider, John Clausen, Loren Frericks, Paul Koester, Tony Sienknecht, and Doug Sienknecht. Poppies and program books, with all the veterans listed from all the cemeteries, were distributed by Jr. Auxiliary members Bryleigh & Kenzie Bartel, and Sydney Vavroch and Unit members Kathy & Kayla Vavroch and National American Legion Auxiliary Vice-President Nicole Clapp. Many enjoyed the Memorial Day dinner hosted by the Gladbrook Legion & Auxiliary at the Memorial Building.

Article Photos

Pictured are (l-r) Legionnaires Richard Denbow, Lynn Steiert, and Terry Schmitz. Lynn, a Korean War veteran raised the American Flag.

 
 

 

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