As we take this day to honor our veterans and their service to our nation, we are once again reminded of the bravery, dedication, and sacrifice of our brave service men and women. Our country is safe and free, in large part, because of the admirable service of those that have made the decision to dedicate their lives to military service. To all who have served in our armed forces, past and present, we honor you today.
But while this day is marked by much fanfare and excitement, this past weekend, another anniversary passed without the pomp and ceremony surrounding Veterans Day.
On November 9-10, 1938, the event known as Kristallnacht occurred throughout Germany and Austria. On the night of November 9, riots began that targeted Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues. Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) was called such because of the broken glass shards that littered the streets from all of the broken windows from Jewish-owned establishments. The rioters included non-Jewish civilians, SA paramilitary personnel, and non-uniformed SS agents. While not an “official” government operation, authorities looked on at the death and destruction, and did nothing. By the morning of November 11, over 1,000 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed or damaged, around 30,000 Jews were incarcerated in concentration camps, and at least 91 Jews were killed. The events of Kristallnacht were the dawn of, and ushered in, the Holocaust – resulting in the murder of approximately 6 millon Jews.
So why am I discussing the events of Kristallnacht on Veteran’s Day?
Because it was our servicemen who were responsible for liberating some of the Nazi concentration camps such as Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Dachau at the end of World War II. It was our brave soldiers who witnessed first-hand the atrocities, and exhibited compassion to the thousands of Jewish prisoners who had suffered under the cruelty and barbarism of the Nazi regime.
And it was our President (Harry Truman) who recognized the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 — eleven minutes after David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel.
As an American, I am proud of the support our nation has given Israel these many decades. As a Christian, I understand the necessity of supporting the Jewish people. The promise that God made to Abraham was a covenant promise that is alive, well, and still in effect today…
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. ~ Genesis 12:3
In a time in history when we are again seeing the rise of anti-Israel sabre-rattling from rogue nations, as well as radical Muslim organizations, it is important for America to let the world know that we stand squarely and unshakingly behind our Israeli friends. We must reject any idea or ideology that weakens Israeli security, and lock arms with our best friend in the Middle East. In doing this, we are not just fulfilling our duty as believers in Christ, but we are honoring our own heritage.