On this memorial day my mind goes back to 1968. I had a very good friend named David DeLaughder, who lived just across the field from our place. We spent a lot of time together, doing what kids did back then. David was having trouble in school, and we talked about joining the military. As we were both yet 17 years old, we had to get parental permission. My father said “No!”, and David’s said “Yes”. David joined the Marines, and after boot camp came back to visit the High School we went to. Shortly after, he shipped out to Viet Nam. Not long after arriving, we got the news that David had been killed on an operation by a land mine.

I will never forget the funeral in our small town. School was dismissed, and we all went to the cemetery, where a Marine Honor Guard gave a 21 gun salute. It was a sad day that will always remain with me. However, David’s death provided opportunities for the gospel message to go to David’s family and friends, many of whom came to faith in Jesus Christ. David was a believer, and I look forward to seeing him again in the presence of the Lord.

May all who have lost loved ones on this day, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, know the comfort of the grace of God and the value of the cross of our Lord and Savior.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13