Honoring the fallen: F3 Nation Convergence + Patriot 5K BB

 

Photo Post “Extra Mile”                                      BOM w/ TC Fred (Coast Guard 1952-1960″

 

H.E. remembers at convergence                      Starting off the Patriot 5K

  • Event Video to follow courtesy of F3 GasHouse – HIPPA

(Posted on behalf of F3 – Little Mike)

Even the rain couldn’t keep approx. ~100 PAX from posting in the Gloom at Symphony Park for the 5th annual Memorial Day convergence.  Checkpoint, Maverick, H.E. and Gnarly Goat had the Q and gathered two concentric COPs  in the field that usually sees blankets and rumps for Pops in the Park.  Today it saw the standard exercises, intermingled with extended planks, during which H.E. and Gnarly Goat shared stories of men with whom they served who gave their lives for their country.  They told us the stories of their gallantry and they told us about them as men – very moving tributes and vivid descriptions of what others have been called to do on our behalf and how they gave so much so that we and others around the world could have what we sometimes take for granted.   The planks were long and burned, but how could we complain or groan while we heard about the tribulations that these men so willingly endured.

After 4 tributes from H.E. and 3 from Gnarly Goat, the PAX broke into four groups that took over the SouthPark AO, returning to a giant COT across from Coca Cola HQ, where the traditional COT was replaced by a callout of those we were remembering on that day.

After COT, many of those present posted for the Patriot Military Family Foundation 5k, where SPEED FOR NEED launched the race with Korean War Veteran Fred Peterson (Coast Guard, 1952-1960) in the orange Racing Chair.  Italian Job gave us a recap about his experience driving Fred with the Team:

“Today we ran as an honor to and in remembrance of the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedoms today. We acknowledge that all gave some and some gave all. It was a privilege to honor our fallen heroes by pushing our new friend and Korean Conflict Veteran, Fred. I cannot think of a more fitting way to spend the morning than sharing fellowship and camaraderie with the men I consider my brothers.
Fred was a trooper, riding strong as the Chair Commander being pushed by men of all service branches. It brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face to see him grin as General David Guyton pushed his chariot at what seemed like Mach 2. It warmed my heart to see men, women, and children smile and clap as the flags flew high and Fred sped by. Thank you Speed for Need for the opportunity to push the chariots in honor of our fallen soldiers.”
-Italian Job

The PAX showed F3Strong again for the Go the Extra Mile – with shovel flags at the head of the phalanx of runners making an Extra Mile loop in honor of those service members who went and continue to go the Extra Mile in service to us and our country.

And while we went (about) an Extra Mile after a full morning of a beat down, it was so small compared to what others have sacrificed.  After the race, I got an email with a devotion from Chuck Colson about Memorial Day – examining the movie Saving Private Ryan and the immense sacrifice that its story represented:

The film Saving Private Ryan opens with a harrowingly realistic reenactment of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.  We see the action through the eyes of Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks.  Following D-Day, Hanks learns that he is to lead a search party to find a certain Private Ryan, whose three brothers have just been killed in action.  The last living son is to be sent home to his grieving mother.

No sooner do Miller and his party begin their search for Ryan behind German lines than we see a Pandora’s box of moral questions opened:  Why are all these men risking their lives to save one man?  Don’t they have mothers too?  Are they just pawns in some cynical public relations maneuver by the Pentagon?

As first one and then another of the soldiers in the rescue party are killed, the questioning intensifies.  After all, just how much is one man’s life worth?

The answer comes in a stunning scene at the end of the film.  It’s now fifty years later, and Private Ryan is visiting Captain Miller’s grave.  “I lived my life the best I could,” he says to Miller’s gravestone.  “I hope in your eyes I’ve earned what you’ve done for me.”

But we can see that he has gnawing doubts.  Clearly distraught, Ryan turns to his wife:  “Tell me I’ve led a good life,” he implores.  “Tell me I’m a good man.”

“You are,” she answers him.

But the answer is not convincing.  How could it be?  Behind Ryan’s question is the inescapable reality that however good we are and however much we have accomplished, we can never repay such a debt.  How could we?  We have to admit with humility that we cannot:  We can only express our gratitude. In fact, columnist George Will has called the film “a summons to gratitude” for the generation that died so we might live.

The parallel to the gospel is powerful:  God himself gave his Son’s life that we might live.

Are you grateful for the price Christ paid for you?  How do you express that gratitude?

-Little Mike

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