A Minute with Mark – Memorial Day

images (3)Memorial Day Weekend approaches. For many, it marks the beginning of summer. For others, it is a much-needed break from routine. It’s a great time to take in a ball game, have a cook-out, and to be with family and friends.

For people like Carmen Gordon, Memorial Day is a difficult, painful experience. On October 3, 1993, Carmen became a widow. Her two children, Ian and Brittany, lost their father. Mogadishu, Somalia was the site of a gruesome, deadly battle that cost the lives of 18 US servicemen and hundreds of Somalis. Gary Gordon was one of those who died that day.

A Master Sergeant in the elite Delta Force, Gordon and his fellow Delta operative Randy Shughart, volunteered to try to reach a downed Black Hawk helicopter, with four critically wounded crewmen on board. Surrounded by a tightening circle of Somali gunmen, the crew could not be reached unless help was inserted. Told it was too dangerous for such a mission, Gordon and Shughart repeated their request until permission was given.

Having fought their way to the crippled copter, the two men gave aid to the wounded men while fighting off the attackers. Outnumbered and outgunned, the two Delta soldiers fought on until they both received fatal wounds. For their heroic actions, they were both award the Medal of Honor.

When you and I pause this weekend to reflect on the true meaning of what began as Decoration Day after the Civil War, say a prayer for families like the Gordons and the Shugharts. For too many, the day will not be a holiday. It will be a grim reminder of ultimate sacrifice.

A video worth watching: http://youtu.be/JKqT0-3JV5E


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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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