Almost A Thing Of The Past !!!!!!

26 May

I just returned from the VFW ceremony at the Ramona, Ok. cemetery that we annually attend. I was really disappointed in the attendance this year. It seems to be dwindling each year. Probably no more than 75 attended. In years past at least 150 would be in attendance. It was attended basically by older people who are still continuing in the traditions of the past. Our oldest daughter and the son-in-law attended. Maybe I will have one more generation that will continue going forward. I told one person that since the younger generation isn’t attending this type event, perhaps we should plant bulbs on the graves to have flowers this time of year

ramona cemetery

The VFW service is the highlight of Memorial Day to pay tribute to our fallen veterans of foreign wars. Many from this area paid the ultimate sacrifice  that we can enjoy some of the freedoms we have today. This is what Memorial Day is all about; to pay tribute to men and women, few that we personally knew, to preserve a way of life that most take for granted. I believe all but 2 of the men pictured served during World War II. Don Raley, the speaker, has been in the VFW conducting this type event for 53 years now. Notice that there is only 1 young man in this VFW. When the old-timers are gone I don’t know what will happen. VFW After the introductory remark we all took part in the Pledge of Allegiance. Directly afterwards a Christian prayer is still prayed. It is refreshing to know that in some places in this country we can still publicly pray to The God of Heaven without having problems. prayer

After a few remarks by the spokesman 7 VFW members perform the 21 gun salute. Notice one of the gun jammed.

21 gun salute

After the 21 gun salute members who have passed away during the past year are named.Taps is then blown by 2 bugles. I still get shivers when I hear it.

taps This is a very simple, non-professional event, but very proud American in nature. I’m thankful that I live in the United States of America. We aren’t a perfect country by far, but after living and traveling to other countries I am still proud to call it home. On the way back to the car we stopped by the grave site of my father-in-law. He was a veteran of World War II who passed away in a boating accident while fishing in 1977. We were in theological studies at the time when we got the phone call. Charlie was a wonderful man. He was a laid back, soft spoken man full of patience. I wish that all of my children could have known him as their grandpa. The most wonderful thing happened to Charlie before he passed away. As I said, we were in school in Springfied. Charlie had never trusted in Christ to save him from his sins. My wife and I had been a witness to him and on the night before they left he and I were talking. It was during this last talk that I was given the privilege to lead Charlie to Christ. He repented of his sins and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. After returning home he was baptized and became a regular at church. It was an answer to prayer by many for years. Charlie was a “good man”, but he was still a sinner that needed his sins forgiven by the grace of God. When he died in that tragic accident, it was much easier knowing that we will once again reunite with him. charlies grave We love you Charlie, and miss you. We will see you when we get to Heaven. Such is life where I live. This is just a little glimpse of rural America and our continued way of life. Tomorrow the bird log continues. Until tomorrow, Lord willing, Levi


Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion


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27 responses to “Almost A Thing Of The Past !!!!!!

  1. Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

    May 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    This post was perfect timing for my family. We have been discussing today how the true meaning of Memorial Day is being lost over time–the kids found it quite sad. I am going to read it to them and show the photos. Thank you for this touching post, Dear Levi. I hope you had a blessed day.


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      I did Skye. And on top of that we received 3.5 inches of rain last night, cloudy but no rain until the ceremony was over, and now raining very good again. Great day!! Thanks for the encouragement!!


  2. johnmarkmiller

    May 26, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I understand what you mean about getting chills when you hear Taps. I work near the DFW National Cemetery, and today at lunch I heard them blasting a cannon for each person who had been buried there this past year. It was overwhelming to hear the cannon blasting for such a long time… but what a great way to honor their sacrifice. Loved these pictures!


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience today too. I appreciate you John!!


  3. linda parvin hutchinson

    May 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Memorial Day has become entirely too commercial with retail sales and BBQ’s and wishes for a “Happy” Memorial Day. Well done and well written!


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      It was just a simple post but the pics helped a lot Linda. Thanks for the encouragement. And I agree with you about the real meaning of the holiday!!


  4. kiwiskan

    May 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    We have a Memorial Day that is known as ANZAC Day here in New Zealand, and the attendances have been rising, with lots of young people coming along. I put up a post about it called ‘They shall not grow old…’ some time back if you’d like to have a look.


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      I will look it up. The trend is reversed here sorry to say. Thanks for letting me know.


  5. Michael

    May 26, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    What a blessing that you were able to lead Charlie to Christ. Thanks for sharing this slice of life. America seems to be chipping away at our traditional heritage. We should fear this.


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      It was a privilege The Lord gave me. It was the last time we saw him alive. Never expected within a few months he would pass away. Thanks for your encouragement Michael!!


  6. katebortell

    May 26, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    This is a very nice post Levi. I wish more people participated in these things. But maybe as the nation acquires more vets again it will become more important once again to folks.
    And Im happy for your father in laws change of heart!! Amen!!


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      I hope the younger generation will participate in the near future as well. Thanks Katie for your encouragement. I always appreciate it. 😀


  7. Paige Hamilton

    May 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    What a beautiful story about your father-in-law’s conversion to Christ … and a privilege to be there with him as he prayed for salvation! Sadly, I also think patriotism and honoring our veterans is becoming a thing of the past. Like Katie wrote, though, perhaps with more veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, these patriotic remembrances will become more and more important. Blessings to you, Levi!


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Paige, perhaps the young vets will take over. I hope but not certain. My son joined the Marines 8 days after 911 and served there twice. At the invasion and a 2nd tour. Most I’ve spoken with I won’t say are bitter, but very disappointed in the way they couldn’t fight the war. Same for Afghanistan. My nephew, a career Marine, was there last year and the same thing. I’m not saying they are another Vietnam but not truly fighting a war to win and I’ve spoken with none that are really proud of what they did.

      It was a true blessing for God to use me with my father in law. I never would have thought it would be the last time I would see him alive. God is gracious. I appreciate you and your comments. Lord bless you!!!


  8. vwoods1212

    May 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Love this. very proud. vw


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I enjoy yours very much too. Would you do me a favor when you have time? I have a hard time finding you until I get a notification. Would you put the “widget” follow by email so that I, and others, can receive an email when you post something new? Let me know if you do it. Have a great and blessed evening.😀😀


      • vwoods1212

        May 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        Oh, I thought it was active; I’ll have to play around with it later on. vw.


  9. Sue C.

    May 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to our soldiers and Charlie. My Dad accepted Christ as his Savior 24 hrs. before he died at 87 yrs. old and after several years of prayers. Blessings to you Levi.


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks Sue. It’s never too late until a person breathes their last breath. I appreciate you girl!!!


  10. Karyl

    May 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    That was a wonderful story. We can’t lose the old ways. It is so important to remember our dead especially those who died for us. This morning I sang with our church choir at a local cemetery. Thank you again.


    • Levi Thetford

      May 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you told me of you and your choir singing at a cemetery. I’ve never seen or heard of it before. Thanks again!!!



    May 27, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this; I hope this would not die away. I do know the VFW and the American Legion has been having a hard time incorporating younger veterans into their organization.
    I was one of the early ones of the Iraq war to joined the VFW and in my first meeting they wanted to kick me out thinking I was a kid (I look very young I suppose).
    I haven’t been involved with the VFW as much as I should, largely because I had a hard time with the VFW chapter in my area has become more of a bar smell than anything else


    • Levi Thetford

      May 27, 2014 at 4:30 am

      I haver never been in a VFW chapter since I’m not a Veteran. This particular chapter pictured doesn’t drink at all. They all profess to be Christians and the town is only about 1,500. In the next larger larger town from me I have heard they have a bar. Not sure of the atmosphere. I hope these ceremonies can continue.


  12. mwitasblog

    May 27, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Wonderful photos, Levi and a little bit of history. Will save them for my kids, I love explaining to them about American history (which, it appears, you are the last of).


    • Levi Thetford

      May 27, 2014 at 4:26 am

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I trust I’m not the last but it is dwindling quick. Hopefully your children will learn from them as well. I appreciate you. Have a great day!!!



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