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Editor's journey


Remembering Vietnam

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Shortly before my father was hit and killed by a drunken driver in 1969, he wrote these words that remain relevant today:

"Thousands of young men have sacrificed their lives in the jungles of Vietnam. Thousands more have been injured. Yet Americans at home remain unmoved amid their quest for pleasure and security.

"Early Americans believed real pleasure and security for their families and the nation depended on their dedication to Jesus Christ. They believed effectual prayer and obedience assured the nation’s protection against her enemies. How foolish we are as a nation to disregard the faith of our forefathers.

"America’s prosperity and opportunity are the result of God’s blessing. But sin has taken its toll. Proverbs 14:34 says, ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.’

"Today few of our leaders truly fear God. The underlying self-confidence that comes from nuclear weapons, wealth and know-how has left our nation vulnerable to the venomous attacks of unbelief, godlessness and immorality.

"In past wars there was an assurance of God’s underlying protection, but today we enter battle with uncertainty. When the Children of Israel put their trust in the Lord, they were invincible. The Syrians fled. The Philistines, Egyptians, Ethiopians and others trembled because of God’s evident blessing upon them.

"What will it take for us as a nation to seek God’s face and regain His blessing? I can only pray that it will not take a catastrophe to turn us back to God."

My father could have never imagined the tragedy of September 11. But, in the 1960s, he watched in horror as bombs in Vietnam monopolized the evening news. He feared a self-reliant America had grown apathetic toward God. If he were alive today I’m confident my father’s message would remain unchanged: As America goes to war against terrorism, may she confess her sins, return to God, and march into battle armed with the blessing of the Lord.

— Hal Donaldson

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