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Prayer Breakfast Honors Fallen Heroes

By Amanda Morad | November 13, 2012

Jane Hampton Cook

Each November, Regent University's Office of Military and Veterans Affairs celebrates the sacrifice of servicemen and women and honors those who have paid the ultimate price. The 2012 Veteran's Prayer Breakfast was held Friday, Nov. 9.

The event featured worship and readings by military officials and family members, including LCDR Glynn Harden, USN; Sgt. Cory Lotspeich, USMCR; Dr. Bill Lyons, associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences and USAF father; AG2(SW) Adam Hill, USNR; and Vanessa Miller, a military spouse.

Linking stories of the Revolutionary War and the War on Terror to traits of the three national colors, presidential historian and keynote speaker Jane Hampton Cook gave an overview of what it means to stand behind the colors of the American flag. "The founding fathers didn't know what red, white and blue meant at the Continental Congress in 1777," she said. "But by 1782 when the Revolution was won, they knew."

Red, she explained, is for valor, "that true grit; that real courage on the battlefield" and hardiness, "one's ability to get through all seasons." Cook told the story of Debbie Lee, whose son Mark lost his life saving a friend. After her son's death, Lee went overseas to the very place her son was killed to deliver Christmas cards to troops. "The families at home are the hardiness while the men and women on the battlefield are the valor," Cook said.

White stands for purity and innocence, she explained. At first perplexed by this association with the goals of a nation at war, Cook realized that "the cause of liberty is a pure motive." Those who choose to serve aren't just fighting for themselves, she pointed out. "You're not just fighting for the present day but for the innocents to come," she said. "The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army," Cook quoted from George Washington.

Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice, she said. For example, according to his diaries, Washington's surgeon, Dr. Albigence Waldo, was close to giving up in Valley Forge. "But what got him through," Cook explained, "was counting his blessings." She also told the story of Lt. Greg Rosenmerkl, an endocrinologist who treated Saddam Hussein while he was a prisoner of the United States. His ethical dilemma was solved not by compassion but by submission. "One of the hallmarks of America," Cook noted, "is our commitment to justice and the rule of law."

Cook concluded her message by recognizing the veterans present for their service and commitment to the standards represented by the national colors. "You have lived loudly for liberty," she said. "Thank you."

The event concluded with the presentation of an Honor and Remember flag to Chelsey Stimson '12 (College of Arts & Sciences) and Tom and Linda Stimson, the widow and parents of SO1 (SEAL) Tyler S. Stimson, a decorated soldier who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times before his death. The Honor and Remember flag was created by Regent alumnus George Lutz '84 (Communication & the Arts) to serve as a visible reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by members of the United States military in service to the nation.

The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs seeks to create a military-friendly academic environment where active and retired servicemen and women can pursue their academic, professional, personal and spiritual goals.

Learn more about the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.


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