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Service designed to honor veterans
Dave McBroom remembers what it was like for military personnel when they returned from Vietnam decades ago.
McBroom, who is now the senior pastor at Solid Rock Community Church in Covington, was among the veterans who came home to scorn and vitriol.
It is important to him and the pastoral staff at Solid Rock to offer a welcoming environment this year at the service the day before Veterans Day with two church members in particular inspiring the celebration planned for Nov. 10.
“We wanted to honor our World War II veterans because they’re dying off,” McBroom said. “In a few years we won’t have any more around. What we we’re working on right now is trying to get the (Junior) ROTC from Kentwood involved. We’re probably going to take a 20 to 25 minute segment of our service that Sunday. It’s all about honoring them for Veterans Day.”
A video with the two members of the church, including McBroom’s father-in-law, who served in World War II will start the service as the two men describe their experiences serving with their friends, seeing death, and how their faith played into it.
“There’s so much we can learn from that generation about courage, commitment, sacrifice,” McBroom said. “It’s a great opportunity for our church family and the young (people) in ROTC to hear their stories and be inspired by that.”
Emily Roth, the discipleship and young adult pastor, added that while war is a common experience for all generations of Americans, the service is “a way to bridge the gap between generations.”
McBroom said his father-in-law did not like to talk about his service. In the nearly 42 years McBroom has been married, it was only recently he has heard stories about his father-in-law’s experiences during World War II. Those stories are told vividly and emotionally in a video that is about 13 minutes long.
Not only did McBroom serve in the armed forces, so have two of his five brothers, one of whom is still in the military.
“We definitely can’t thank them enough for what they did,” McBroom said of veterans. “Our vision, our goal is to honor and to recognize the sacrifice that was paid for us. Sometimes when you’re on this side of freedom, you forget there was a price paid for that.”
And, McBroom said, it is a message God often delivered to the children of Israel that memorials were built so they would remember the sacrifices of previous generations.
“This is the same thing, we want to remind the current generation of what took place and to reflect,” McBroom said. And show honor to the previous generations because sometimes I think they don’t get the honor they deserve.”
Roth said that Solid Rock is inviting all veterans to the service.
“Even those soldiers or retired military people who don’t attend church or don’t know God, we honor them because they made that sacrifice,” Roth said. “If they need someplace to go to feel honored, our doors are open.”