It is important for a nation to pause and to both remember and honor the sacrifices of veterans, Capt. A. Wayne Riggs ’53 told an audience at University of Lynchburg’s Veterans Day service.
Capt. Riggs, a retired Navy chaplain and minister, delivered the sermon of the College’s annual event. Basing his talk on two passages from the Bible, Joshua 4:1-7 and Romans 13:1-8, explained the importance of establishing physical memorials as well as traditions that help people remember the past and give honor to veterans.
“What if a nation lost its memory? What if a nation forgot about its past?” he asked the audience. “We have a great responsibility to preserve Veterans Day in our nation’s memory.”
He spoke of war memorials where names of soldiers have been engraved in cities around the United States. They are like stones carried across the water of the Jordan River in the Biblical account in Joshua, intended to provoke questions from future generations about the past.
“Veterans Day calls us to keep this sense of pride in our memory,” he said.
The national holiday also serves to give honor to those who have served the country, but “Honor is not a one-day event, a one-day affair,” Capt Riggs said. He commended University of Lynchburg alumni for creating the Dr. John D. Bower Veterans Scholarship Fund to support veterans in the student body. “They know that honor is not rendered on a single day.”
He asked all those present to help remind others about the sacrifices of veterans.
“May God make us sturdy as we build links to the past and a bridge to the future so future generations may remember and honor,” he said.