Thanking the Veterans Who Preserved Our Freedom

David CerulloBy David Cerullo2 Minutes

At the start of the Civil War, Sullivan Ballou, a successful 32-year-old Rhode Island attorney, responded to Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to defend the Union. With the first great battle of the war imminent, Ballou penned a letter to his wife:

“Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables, that nothing but Omnipotence can break; and yet, my love of country comes over me like a strong wind, and bears me irresistibly on with all those chains, to the battlefield.”

“My dear Sarah,” he continued, “never forget how much I love you, nor that, when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.”

One week after composing this letter, as he advanced with his regiment on the rolling hills of Manassas, Major Sullivan Ballou was struck and killed.

Ballou’s sentiments reflect the conflict swirling in the heart of many men and women who have served, or are serving, in our armed forces. Love of country and recognition of duty come at a cost to marriage and family.

Throughout our history, countless soldiers have faced this same dilemma. Many eventually came home to their loved ones. Others did not. But like Sullivan Ballou, all of them stood to defend freedom for this nation.

Scripture declares: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). On this Veterans Day, we thank God for the freedom we have to worship and live our lives as we choose but we also thank the men and women who fought or even died to preserve that freedom.

Today and every day, we honor and pray for these brave veterans who bought and paid for our freedom through their service and sometimes with their lives.

God bless you,

David Cerullo