On Memorial weekend we remember those who have gone before and paved the way for our future.
My father’s brother entered Nuremberg, Germany on April 14, 1945 as a tank commander in the final push to occupy the city. Years later, when my wife and I went to Nuremberg to serve an English speaking church, he remembered, with the quick smile that always illumined his face, that it was difficult to get a tank through the narrow streets of the old city.
He was wounded in the battle and spent three months convalescing in the hospital in Nuremberg. With the war over, he toured Italy and Switzerland for few months following the war, then headed home. His first agenda was to seek out the love he left behind They were soon married and spent more than sixty years as husband and wife.
He was a gifted artist. One of his paintings hangs on the wall of my office, a family treasure reminding me of his love and encouragement across the years.
In his later years the sounds of artillery returned to haunt him, one of the incurable symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Crowds and locations with loud noises bothered him. But he remained outgoing, enjoying friends and family.
As his health declined he faced death with the same courage, confidence and faith with which he faced it in his youth. He was buried January a year ago at the Oakwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas.
This weekend I will remember Richard H. Tinsley, as we all remember those close to us who have been willing to put their lives on the line for our country. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” (John 15:13).