Veterans honored at Memorial Day event

Ludford compares military sacrifice to biblical teachings
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

Shawano’s Memorial Day ceremony was one full of faith May 27 at Woodlawn Cemetery as Pastor Scott Ludford drew parallels between veterans’ sacrifice and biblical teachings.

“Let me just start out with a statement Jesus gave in the 15th chapter of the Gospel of John: ‘Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,’” Ludford said. “The verse speaks to the very absence of the sacrifices made by our fallen heroes. It’s a powerful testament to the kind of love that is willing to give everything, even life itself, for the sake of others. In the heart of everyone who has served our country, for those fallen heroes, for those who worried and prayed for them at home, we find an extraordinary courage that’s difficult to comprehend.”

Ludford noted that fallen veterans remained true to what they were fighting for and didn’t falter.

“They were ordinary people, just like you and me,” Ludford said. “They chose to do something extraordinary. They chose to put their lives on the line for the sake of others, for the sake of us. This is the kind of bravery that is not born out of a moment’s decision but out of a deep-seeded conviction, a profound sense of duty, an unwavering love for others.”

Ludford stressed the importance of remembering those who sacrificed themselves for the freedom that America enjoys today.

“They didn’t just fight for their own lives, they fought for ours,” Ludford said. “This sacrificial love is a reminder of the love Christ showed us.”

Ludford said the parallels were not coincidence but a “divine design.”

“It’s a reminder that bravery is not just about physical strength or military prowess. It’s about love,” he said. “This is the kind of bravery that we remember today. We find ourselves standing on sacred ground, the price paid for our liberty to speak, a debt we cannot repay, but one we must strive to honor in our daily lives. The cost of freedom is not merely a historical fact but a living reality that continues to shape our world and our lives.”

The loss of even one life leaves a wound that cannot be healed, Ludford said, and the bravery of the United States Armed Forces cannot be measured by numbers and statistics. It’s measured by the support of the communities and the people within them.

“Freedom is not a static state, but a dynamic process that requires ongoing effort and sacrifice,” Ludford said. “It’s not enough to simply win freedom. It must be maintained, defended and nurtured. This is a responsibility that falls on all of us as members of the human family. We must be willing to stand up for our freedoms, to speak out against injustice, and to work toward a more equitable and just society. This is a cost we all bear, a responsibility we all share.”