PHOTO: One hundred years later, we can still hear the courage of Belleau Wood.
Memorial Day is the day we say thanks to people who can’t hear us. But we can still hear them.
With video footage of the invasion of World War 1 in 1918, we can at least taste the horrors of that these young men went through. “The War to End All Wars” was all too optimistic and just two decades later we’d be sending another 400,000 to their deaths.
The battles in both wars sometimes sent soldiers right into the guns of the Germans. Perhaps one of the more famous skirmishes took place in June, 1918 where some of the lore of The United States Marines was sealed forever.
Urged to back off the dangerous assignment, a Marine commander quickly retorted with the now famous, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here.”
The “Battle of Belleau Wood” in France pitted American and French forces against a German advance who were entrenched in the woods. Bayonettes, hand-to-hand combat and sheer courage lead a German to call The Marines “wreckless fellows” and “devil dogs” for their relentless pursuit.
American casualties were just under 10,000. That was just one battle.
One hundred years later, if we listen carefully, we still hear their whispers of courage.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Deliberately remembering the acts of service men and women parallels our thankfulness to the sacrifice of Heaven’s Marine, Jesus.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? …One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’
Romans 8:32 NIV, Luke 17:15-18 NIV