Daddy was in England during WWII. War paints a vivid picture in the mind of a child. Mother told me what it was like for my father during WWII in England. Daddy didn’t talk about it. She told of blackouts, air raids in the night and the terrifying Luftwaffe strafing a city paralyzed by fear. This experience of what my father and so many must have gone through in London during WWII came to life for me when I attended a class studying the life of C.S. Lewis. The class was taught by Prentice Meador in Dallas, Texas several years ago.
Lewis, who wrote Mere Christianity, is universally recognized as one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. Did you know that during the most desperate years of World War II, Lewis was asked by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) recently created Home Service to give radio addresses on Christianity to a nation shaken by war? The choice was controversial. Lewis was at first dismissed by critics as a layman unqualified to tackle such weighty issues, however he proved to be enormously persuasive. These radio talks were eventually published as Mere Christianity, which now ranks as one of the great classics of religious literature. This rich chapter in Lewis’s life, which deals with his love-hate relationship with the “new” medium of broadcasting, has received little attention from biographers and commentators. Yet it was Lewis’s work giving comfort to a war stricken people on the radio that made him a household name. Lewis once angry with God for not existing, then converting to theism ultimately was baptized and became a Christian writing prolifically on the topic of his conversion. A noted scholar, Lewis was able to reach a vast popular audience during his lifetime and continues to attract thousands of new readers every year. C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screw Tape Letters as well. Can you imagine listening to C.S. Lewis who is part of the duo that formed “The Inklings,” J.R.R.Tolkien author of Lord of the Rings being the other part of the duo, as they would meet in a little pub called The Eagle & Child fondly referred to as the Bird & the Baby in Oxford, England to pen their works as he would comfort the terrified people of England during the black-outs with the Luftwaffe strafing and dropping bombs overhead night after night? During the study of C.S. Lewis I was able to go back and only imagine the horror and fear a soldier and a city in the grip of war must have felt and what a voice in the night might have meant to them talking of hope and faith.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died and have served our nation.
Mother, being part of the “The Greatest Generation“ a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, intrinsic to her nature went to the cemetery every Memorial Day and placed flowers on my father’s grave. Mother passed away Memorial Day 1994. There are many ways our gardens can also serve as memorials to loved ones as we reflect on their memories.
Memorial Day is a beautiful hybrid tea to honor our soldiers but for me it is especially poignant and of course I planted Heaven for you Mom & Dad.
President William J.Clinton signed the US National Moment of Remembrance to be observed each Memorial Day 3:00 PM Local Time on May 2, 2000