DLS Consulting

American Soldiers In Brussels?

While recently in Brussels, we were just completing our visit to the Atomium and returning to the Grand Plaza for dinner when the sounds of Gershwin and American Country music were filling the air. It was to be our last day in Europe and we longed to be back in the good old USA but the music sounded like a hometown Fourth of July picnic. As we strolled thru the streets to find the source of this American celebration, we found all sorts of World War II military vehicles. What a great surprise to find all of this and hundreds of “our” soldiers just hanging out on the Grand Plaza!

We approached the soldiers as we looked inside the Army Jeeps, and officer’s vehicles next to the tanks. All of them clearly had USA printed on them and the band of over a hundred musicians played on with song after song of familiar American tunes. We walked around in a rather stunned mode as we were not expecting such familiar sounds and sights in the capital of the European Union. We high fived the military men and women and finally I asked one of the Sergeants where he called home in the US? Oh we are not Americans he said, “We are Belgians just enjoying dressing up like Americans!” It was September 14, 2009, and fifty-nine years after the official D-Day of Belgium in World War II. This was a celebration of the liberation of Belgium from the Germans! The joy that exists in many parts of the world because of the courage of American soldiers is often the most muted sound in our land as we take freedom for granted. There was nothing muted however in Brussels on that day! Clearly, Belgians still remember this day of deliverance and recognize the role America played in it.

As I reflected on the Belgians who enjoyed dressing up like Americans, I wondered how many of us dress up like Americans and forget the privileges we have as citizens of this great country. This week, do something special and out of the ordinary when you see a man or woman wearing our county’s uniform. Buy their lunch; shake their hand; salute them by saying thanks as you walk thru the airport but make sure you let them know that you are not an American dressed up in disguise.

John 15:12-13 (RSV) “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Monday Morning Message Sent 10/26/09


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