Now I Know

Dear Friends,

Over this past weekend, and especially yesterday, Memorial Day, I was thinking about a story I heard a number of years ago related to D-Day, the 78th anniversary of which is next Monday.


The D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, began to free Europe from the tyranny of Nazi Germany during World War II. One man, I heard about, lost his leg as he was landing on Omaha Beach, the scene of the highest casualties that day. When he came home from the war, not too surprisingly, he was kind of bitter about the loss of his leg. He never talked about it, but there always seemed to be this animosity and resentment just below the surface.


One year, he went back to Omaha Beach. He had not been there since the day he lost his leg, but it was during an anniversary celebration to which he'd been invited, so he decided to go. He walked around the national cemetery and along the beach, amazed that he and other young men could possibly have done what they were called on to do and that anyone survived. At one point a French woman who was strolling along saw him, figured out his rough age in her mind, and noticed his slight limp. She went up to him and asked, "Are you an American? Were you here?" He answered yes to both questions.

She threw her arms around him. "You saved me!" she said. "I was just a little girl, but I remember. You saved me and my family. We can never repay you except to say thank you." After he returned home from that trip, the man was never bitter again. He was willing to talk just a bit about his experiences during the war, too.

He would sometimes say, "Now I know for whom I gave my leg."

I hope Memorial Day has been a good beginning to a meaningful and productive week for you.

Grace and Hope,

Pastor Duane