One Home at a Time
A smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory.
Major General Robert Dees (U.S. Army, Retired) was one of a rugged group of alumni from the 101st Airborne Division–the “Screaming Eagles”–who commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of World War II’s Operation Market Garden by parachuting into the same drop zone in Eindhoven, Holland, as their heroic predecessors.
By almost any historian’s accounts, the aerial assault initiated on this date in 1944 was a tactical failure. Yet it was part of an overall march to victory . . . and for some, the gift of life. Though on one hand it miscalculated the offensive’s ability to secure “a bridge too far” (as portrayed in the well-known book and movie of that title), for some it became a bridge to hope and a future.
That’s what General Dees discovered this September day in 1994.
After his parachute landed, he was greeted by an elderly Dutch woman who fell to her knees and grasped him around the legs. Through her tears, through the words of an interpreter, she told this gripping story: In September 1944, the Germans were executing five fathers a day in Eindhoven–to keep the population in submission and deter the brave Dutch underground. On the day this woman’s father was to be shot, the American troopers fell from the sky, saving his life. She had not yet been born, she said, so she was alive because of Operation Market Garden.
General Dees’s story reminded me that each home is important in the battle for the family. Your small courageous choices–to stand for truth, to remain committed to one another and to raise a family that honors Jesus Christ–will yield a victory of some kind. Don’t give up. Just like that little Dutch girl and her dad, the next generation is at stake.
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