Prayer and Remembrance

November 11, 2016

This Veteran’s Day and every day, Galilee is proud to be the worship home of many veterans.

Dick Graff is one such veteran. He served in the infantry in the European theater of WWII. Today he lives at Ashby Ponds and worships at Galilee. Now in his 90s, Dick keeps the experiences of his generation alive by sharing them with audiences at middle schools and high schools in our area. One of his themes is the power of violence and war to make a man reflect on what is truly important—like prayer.

Dick Graff in uniform for a recent Memorial Day event.

One particular story that he enjoys sharing involves Dick’s unit, the 104th Infantry, which was sent out on a night mission in a German forest. Enemy artillery began to explode around them. The shelling was fierce and constant, and none of Dick’s training prepared him for the terror of facing enemy fire.

“I was not sure I was going to live until morning,” he says. “I prayed to God for one more sunrise.”

Dick’s prayer was simple, earnest, and concrete. And it was answered.

“The Good Lord has seen fit to give me so many more sunrises,” he says. “It’s up to me, as it is up to everyone, not to waste them.”

Dick tells his own story, below, in a recent interview filmed at Ashby Ponds. It’s part of a larger documentary that features an introduction by Virginia Senator Tom Kaine.

Dick is marking this year’s Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, with events at Ashby Ponds. Galilee salutes him for his service and is grateful for the service of all our veterans.