Remember, Lest We Forget
Written by: Mr. Chris Orr
Originally Published in Flourishing: Volume 2, Issue 1
An eager, young teenager walks beside his ambitious yet tempered father as they make their way down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. The teenager, still filled with awe after seeing the massive statue of one of the most exalted presidents in our history, strides swiftly yet composedly toward the next stop on the daily tour of Washington, D.C. The father, though excited to see the joy flowing through his son, begins to take a long, deep breath for he knows what is to come. His son never notices the change in his father’s countenance. But the father is becoming heavy-footed, as each step seems to weigh down the burly, rock of a man. The father knows that in a little under a thousand feet, there is going to be a confrontation. A confrontation, the father, now less confident than just a few moments earlier, begins to make preparations for.
As the steps go by, the black granite wall comes into view of the father and son. Emotions overwhelm both of the pair. The son excited to witness the next sight in our nation’s capital. On the other hand, long suppressed images begin to flood the mind of the father. Days of basic training and impressionable faces pour through his brain like a vintage movie projector. Slide-by-slide clicking through like the rapid fire from a machine
gun and the father stops as dead a few meters away from his goal. The son strides forward, but turns in bewilderment. This once stoic man stalls because of the weight of his past. A man whom the son could not recall ever shedding a tear to this point in his life is fragile and broken.
Tears stream down the father’s face as he traces name after name from the dark, iconic wall. The names were those who served their country in a war many did not understand, but they did so to serve a greater cause. A cause that every nation has the right to be free of tyranny, a cause that every man, woman, boy and girl has been endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The father through tears had taught the teenage
son a valuable lesson that day.
The past is not to be avoided and neglected, but to be viewed as a tool for growth in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.
The United States of America is not about a self-absorbed teenager; it is about “a definite, clear and practical ideal” that “all men are created equal.” All men have the right to see this ideal ring from sea to shining sea. Just like the father and the son in this story, we are all shaped by our past, our history. The past is not to be avoided and neglected, but to be viewed as a tool for growth in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. The great king of Israel, Solomon, puts it this way in Ecclesiastes 1:9-11:
“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done. And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things. Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after.”
To paraphrase, “what has happened in the past will happen again in the future. It will be celebrated as new because we forget or fail to learn the truths of the past.” May this not be so among the students of Trinity Christian School.
One of the passions at the heart of Trinity is “remember, lest we forget.” We are committed to teaching historical truth so that our students will not forget the events of the past.
One of the passions at the heart of Trinity is “remember, lest we forget.” We are committed to teaching historical truth so that our students will not forget the events of the past. Nowhere is this more evident than in the history of our own country. The ideals (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) our country was founded on, with their historical root in the teachings of Scripture written millennia beforehand.
The right to life is a basic right to every person and Jesus Himself says he has come to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). The idea of liberty or freedom is prevalent throughout the Scriptures as in Luke 4:18; where Jesus proclaims Himself to be the fulfillment of the message of the prophet Isaiah saying, he has come to “proclaim liberty to the captives” and “to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
History is a key, in the right hands, that opens the doorway to the storehouses of deep, ancient truths.
The pursuit of happiness is an ambition for everyone; a pursuit first and foremost found in the God of the universe. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” History is a key, in the right hands, that opens the doorway to the storehouses of deep, ancient truths.