Sunday, December 17: I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Such a haunting melody, popularized by Bing Crosby in 1943, always reminds me of World War II; specifically, the winter of 1944. Operation Market Garden had failed and hopes of the war ending by Christmas were shattered. Furthermore, on December 16th the Germans launched a last ditch attack to halt the Allied advance – The Battle of the Bulge. This put the men of Easy Company, 506th parachute infantry, 101st Airborne, on the tenuous defensive front line in the Ardennes Forest near a small crossroads town, Bastogne. During one of the coldest winters on record with not enough food, ammunition, or warm clothes they dug in, confident that their superiors… and God… would provide what they needed. What faith did they have? What were their prayers as they huddled in their icy foxholes and clung to each other during the horrific artillery barrages that took so many of their brothers? How much did they long for home as they endured Christmas under such miserable conditions?
These same men were responsible for knocking out four 105mm German guns bearing down on Utah Beach. They gained control of the causeways leading off the beach, saving countless lives on D-Day, including perhaps my father’s. I believe they have come home to perpetual Christmas in heaven surrounded by those they love and the love of God. I am so deeply grateful for their service and sacrifice and that I am heir to their legacy as a daughter of the “greatest generation”. What an awesome Christmas present for a lifetime.
In honor of all of the greatest generation, with gratitude to God and all His goodness, we should make sure we “come home for Christmas” each year, sharing the good news of our Savior’s birth with our loved ones. For being together and celebrating in peace is the true meaning of Christmas.