As Veterans Day approaches, Bob Jones Academy would like to salute our country’s veterans, who have served to preserve our freedom. While at the AACS Legislative Convention in Washington, D.C., in September, Dr. Barbrow and I took a side trip to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. We walked from the Metro through the entrance to the cemetery and up the hill past endless rows of headstones. It is sobering to think of the many who have given their lives for the defense of our freedom.
As I thought of those who have died, I recalled the funeral of Capt. Ben Tiffner (who was in a school where I formerly served and who attended Bob Jones University in the mid-90s)—he was killed in Iraq. I discovered years later that Dr. Esther White was there too. Ben graduated from West Point and had a vibrant Christian testimony, and more than anything else, he wanted to see his fellow soldiers come to know Christ. My wife and I stood by the graveside in Arlington on a frigid November day in 2007 with tears running down our cheeks as the 21-gun salute was fired and the folded flag was handed to Tim and Judy, Ben’s parents. Ben gave his life on our behalf. The thousands of headstones are testimony to similar stories for many other families.
I thought of those veterans who have served—some old, some young, some healthy, some wounded, a few still from WWII, and way too many from Iraq and Afghanistan. My heart swells up with gratitude when I consider all the sacrifices that they have made for us. There are quite a few veterans who work among us at BJU and BJA, including Maj. Ben Adams (a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marines), and a good many BJA graduates. Thank you for serving.
When we arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we eventually found what we were looking for—a tall, proud, immaculately dressed soldier guarding the tomb—PFC Seth Barbrow, nephew of Dr. Barbrow. Here was a young man who was faithfully serving his country at the monument dedicated to the memories of unidentified soldiers who have been killed in our nation’s wars. It was a sobering picture of the past and the present.
Veterans Day is next week. Let us take time to reflect on the many U.S. military personnel who have given so much. We are grateful for the sacrifices you have made for our freedom.
Thank you! We salute you!