“If they hadn’t come, where would we be today?” — Louis Delevin, resident of Normandy, France.

I am an ingrate. Life has a way of obscuring, for me, the things for which I should be most grateful.

Sixty five years have past since the Normandy invasion. In that fateful morning those many years ago, freedom for Europe was a question very much in doubt. At the cost of much British and American blood, Nazi tyranny began to be pushed back.

Many years have passed since those fateful days and such things are rarely in the thoughts of the people of Europe and America. Once a year, people gather on the shores of nothern France to commerorate those days, but the truth is most people have forgotten what was given them, at the cost of much blood.

Not so Louis Delevin. He was twelve years old living on his family farm at the time of the great invasion. He vividly remembers giving out apple cider to soldiers who passed his farm. He knows what was gained for him and it still grateful.

[Boston] “If they hadn’t come, where would we be today?’ said Delevin, 77, who as a farm boy of 12 provided the pilots with apple cider between raids on the retreating German troops. “You don’t have to be a great scholar to understand that the freedom we enjoy today was decided in those days in 1944.”

I am impressed by gratitude I think because I realize how often I am not. It is true, I rarely think of how the freedom I enjoy was secured for me. Boys half my age gave their lives in places they likely never heard of before they died there. They gave me this gift and I so rarely remember, never mind show the proper gratitude.

As great was their sacrifice, as wonderful the freedoms I enjoy, so much more has been given to me. Two thousand years ago my God humbled Himself to be born in poverty and to suffer, die, and be buried, and to rise again so that I may live, forever. This amazing gift of God is completely undeserved. And yet, so many times I reject this freely given gift only to once again beg for and be granted a forgiveness I don’t deserve.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Why am I such an ingrate? Why am I so incapable of love? Why can’t I remember what has been given me and how? Where would I be if He had not come?

When looking at the crosses in the ground on the cliffs of Normandy I should be truly grateful for what has been given me at so great a cost. Ever so much grateful should I be when I look at the cross above my bed.