A Day of Remembrance

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
May 26, 2015

Yesterday morning as Steve and I sat on the porch drinking coffee and watching the hummingbirds, we relished the peaceful tranquility and the cool breeze.  What a contrast to the morning of June 6, 1944 in which thousands of men stormed the beaches at Normandy, only to fall before reaching the shores.  My father was one of the lucky ones as he was flying above the beaches; he told me that the real heroes were the men on the ground. 

Several years ago I had the privilege of awarding the DAR Medal of Honor to Major Dick Winters for his leadership of the Band of Brothers which landed in Normandy prior to the Allied Invasion.   I shared my father’s comment with Major Winters who quickly corrected me, saying any man or woman who wore the uniform of the United States of America was a hero.  Further, he reminded me that courage was not the absence of fear, but doing what had to be done despite the fear.  Appropriately, a statue in his honor was dedicated yesterday near his former home in Pennsylvania.

In church on Sunday, the first hymn was “America the Beautiful” and the scripture lesson was from John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  The service concluded with “America”, verses 1 and 4.

America, The Beautiful

Lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates, 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

So as we remember with quiet reverence those who served our country and have fallen, may we recall with gratitude the tens of thousands who bravely defended our beloved country and the sacrifice of their families. 

I am so grateful to be part of an organization which truly appreciates those who have laid down their lives for their friends.

May God Bless America!

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