War is an interesting topic of conversation for me. I find the topic so fascinating that i could have conversations lasting hours and i have in the past. War is a touchy topic for a lot of people, why this is i'm not entirely sure but I know that there have been a lot of things happen in the wars of our past that we shouldn't forget. I am a huge fan of the book "Band of Brothers: E company, 506th regiment, 101st Airborne From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle Nest". It follows E company right from the beginning of their training that started in July 1942, through the jump into Normandy on D-Day (6th June), through their attack on Carentan, their jump into Holland, their battle at Bastogne, the attack at Noville as well as their trek across Germany where they eventually took the Eagles Nest. The author also finds out what the soldiers did after the war. To me this book shows so many different sides of human nature. These men did not know how they were going to cope when they came to be under fire. When they got to the war, the men weren't fighting for their country for the most part but they were instead fighting for the men that were to the left and the right of them, their comrades in arms.
The men in this war saw their friends get wounded or killed in front of them. How long can someone stand under that pressure? How long until you finally crack? So many soldiers cracked from seeing that happen time and time again. The veterans of the war stopped trying to get to know the replacements because the replacements were more often than not the ones that were killed. Not to say that the veterans werent killed, because in a war there is no one that is exempt.
One of my favourite quotes is from one of the men of Easy company. I can't remember the exact wording of the quote at the moment but I know that it talks about fear and how everyone had but they also had the training to know how to handle the fear. The quote spoke to me a lot. I mean thats not just something that can be used for fighting a war on earth, but it can also be used to fight the war that we fight for God.
Another thing that amazes me, is that a lot of soldiers in Easy company were injured and taken away to recover but then once they were half mended they up and went AWOL to get back to their men. One soldier was heard to have said (after being shot in the bum) "Hey Sarge!, You think this is a ticket home?". When told "Could be", he said "Aww s**t, I just got here". Apparently it was a common thing to have happen. That comment was said by a soldier on d-day when Easy company was attacking a fixed position that was firing guns down onto the beaches that the Americans were trying to land. They attacked that position with approximately 12 men. They succeeded in taking and destroying the guns. They were greatly down from the number of men that they should have had. Yet they won. They beat a force that outnumbered them because they had great leaders who knew what to do and when to take action. This needs to happen in the church. We don't just need the leaders that lead the church, but we need the leaders that lead the small groups within the church as well, and we need them to be strong and able to lead us well.
One of the great leaders within Easy company was a man who ended up being Major Dick Winters. He joined with the 101st airborne right at the beginning. He trained for 2 yrs then he jumped into Normandy on D-Day and he was with the regiment for the rest of the war. Major Dick Winters in someone that I look up to as he was able to do things that others may not have. He made some tough decisions, but he was always there for his men. The men of Easy company were able to trust him to do what was needed. The men in his company were sad to see him move up into regimental staff as it meant that they were left with men who more often than not they did not trust and sometimes men that were not up to the position and according to the NCO's got a lot of good men killed because of their inaction or inexperience. He was a great leader and one that we can all inspire to be like.
Isn't funny how when we think about it, the men in WWII and all wars, would have been asking God for help to win victories over their enemies. Now the interesting thing that I think about is the fact that there were probably people from both sides in WWII that were asking for God's help. Does God give His help to both sides? Does He help people to kill others while they are in a war? Now an interesting thing about that, is that in the Bible Jesus at one point talks to a soldier and yet He doesn't say "don't kill". If I am not mistaken Jesus told the soldier to do his job to the best of his ability. (You can correct me if I'm wrong).
The men of Easy company did many great things while they were in the war. They perservered through situations that many people would have not been able to endure. Something I'm not sure if a lot of people relise but the men of Easy company were just ordinary citizens. They were civilians that volunteered for the parachute infantry because they knew that if they were going to have to fight, then it may as well be fighting with the best. It warms my heart to think of the fact that these men choose to fight in the war. They could have got out of the war a lot sooner than they did. They could have made all sorts of excuses to get away from the front, but they didn't. This tells me what right do I have for making excuses that get me out of fighting my war? The war that I have with the devil every day? The soldiers on my left and my right are greater than the soldiers that were next to the men in WWII. The men in my company consist of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Men that enable me to do anything I need to. Men that lead me in the way that I need to be lead (if I let them lead me).
Many men died to make our world the way it is. People will continue dying until the day that the world is destroyed and we are taken to be with God. We need to honour the people that have died for causes worth dying for whether they be, WWII or persecution for their faith. We need to honour and remember these people so that they have not died for nothing. We need to remember these days so that the people who have survived know that we realise what they have done for us and hopefully we will remember the things that have been done so that we do not make the same mistakes that made these actions needed in the first place.