Norm's Memorial Day Address

I had the privilege of being the featured speaker at the village of Gibsonburg's Memorial Day ceremony. A great honor for I remember well going to many of them as a high school band member.

As part of that address...I did a re-work of the late Paul Harvey's "So God made a Farmer" speech.

Mr. Harvey gave that address at the National FFA Convention back in 1978...and Dodge recently used it in their big Super Bowl ad for their trucks.

I'll post it here...with caution and all due respect to Paul Harvey. But somehow, I think he would approve of the result.

Feel free to share.

So God Made a Soldier

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a protector." So God made a soldier.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, run 10 miles, drive all day in the hot summer sun, and trudge through damp jungles in the dark of night, eat cold bland food from a can all while carrying forty pounds of equipment up a mountainside to his next post." So God made a soldier.

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to pull a buddy off the side of a cliff and yet gentle enough to hold a baby that was left abandoned in a ransacked village. Somebody to fix roads, tame a Humvee that slips out of gear, come back to base hungry, but be willing to wait until the canteen is done feeding a batch of refugees who have fled a war zone, and then spend the few hours he could have spent sleeping making sure every last one of them has gotten a meal. So God made a soldier.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with an injured comradeâ?¦if only to watch him die. Then dry his eyes and say, â??God has him nowâ??. I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a piece of driftwood, fix a mis-firing weapon with a paper clip, who can make a snare out of parachute cord, a hankie and a sapling. And who, when duty calls, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, with feet swollen and blistered, march another 40 miles to relieve and support the guys on the front line." So God made a soldier.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the roads at double speed to get through the gauntlet of mines and IEDs, and yet stop in mid-route and race to help when he sees a civilian who was wounded in the crossfire. So God made a soldier.

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to swim from ship to shore loaded with his pack, yet gentle enough to pick up, hold and nurse a puppy that wandered into camp from parts unknown, who will stop his job to help a friend who is struggling to complete his own. It had to be somebody who'd have a hard mind, but a soft heart. Somebody who would march, shoot, run, salute, and throw and jump and guide and navigate and love his neighbor, be willing to put the lives of others in front of his own, have unbreakable love for his country and unshakable faith in his maker. Soâ?¦God made a soldier.

"Somebody who'd hold his family together with the soft strong bonds of caring, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a soldier.