Anglican Orthodox Church
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP
PO Box 128
Statesville, N.C. 28687
TO: All veterans, their families, and fellow patriots of the Church
I visited the local cemetery today which is located close by a military base. Since I was affiliated with the military for a period of forty years, both as an active duty officer and later working in a civilian capacity training young aviators, I have the honor to be acquainted with many soldiers who lie in repose in that cemetery. Many were my friends, and some I only knew casually; and still others were strangers who gave their all that I might enjoy the freedom we share in America today. But each and every one of them deserve my heartfelt respect and gratitude.
Some were killed in action in Korea, Vietnam, or the Middle East. Others suffered wounds in battle which altered the course of their lives and those of their cherished families. But all put their lives on the line to sacrifice if that were demanded by the mandate of Almighty God.
I carried with me a fair number of pennies and dimes today. I dropped pennies on more graves than dimes since many I did not serve with; but those with whom I served, I dropped a dime on their graves out of respect and gratitude that God has blessed our nation with such men and women of valor. I have attached a graphic, courtesy of the Military Order of the World Wars of which I am a proud member, to this letter to explain why I dropped those dimes and pennies – it is an old military custom in showing respect.
In the latter years of my life, God has called me into an altogether different manner of service – that of minister in His Church. Though the manner of service is different from that of a military soldier, the nature of service is not! All Christian people, whether in the ordained ministry or not, are called to lay their lives on the altar of God to serve Him wherever He calls, and to lay down their lives for His Name’s Sake, if necessary, as a living testimony of faith. Cemeteries around the world have tombs that are consecrated by the blood of such men and women.
This Veteran’s Day, let us not forget those valiant men and women who have dared to face the enemy on our behalf and for the cause of Liberty. It is the Christian soldier’s responsibility to exalt the Almighty God as Sovereign of the nation he serves, and the army in which he is enlisted. This has been so since the early days of our inception as a nation under the favor of a loving and omniscient God. Let us not falter in that commitment at last.
Let us thank God that He has blessed our land with such courageous souls as our Veterans and fallen soldiers. To quote my favorite General of the European Theater of Operations during the Second World War: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” ― Gen. George S. Patton Jr.
A happy and blessed Veteran’s Day to all. God bless you
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone during TRINITY,
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”