Woodstock Harley-Davidson Veterans Memorial
“To honor those who serve and served to protect America”
Dedication of Memorial Brick
in honor of
Cpl. Ryan John Cummings, U.S.M.C.
July 2, 2016
The vision of Marine veteran Tim Crabb to establish this permanent memorial in honor of those who serve and served to protect America was embraced by Doug Jackson along with all of the patriotic employees and extended family of Woodstock Harley-Davidson.
While the site was dedicated on November 7, 2015, it will be rededicated regularly as more bricks are installed; and more bricks will be installed because America’s commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone regardless of class, color, or culture will always be challenged by dark politics, ideologies, and religions.
Like the patriot being honored today – Cpl. Ryan John Cummings – more patriots to the highest American ideals undeniably based on Biblical values of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love will answer the call to protect and promote freedom with their lives as compelled by Jesus who modeled sacrifice: “I give My life for you voluntarily…There is no greater love than to die for the safety and security of others…If you are going to follow Me, you must take up your cross and deny yourself…Whoever saves his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for Me will find it…Remember, as you are doing it for them, you are doing it for Me.”
Cpl. Cummings incarnated His call.
A graduate of Hoffman Estates High School, Ryan was a straight-A student who played French horn for the band and wrestled for the Hawks.
He enlisted as a Marine on September 10, 2001.
Terrorist attacks the very next day – simply 9/11 as we recall that horror – caused him, as dad John said, to be “more gung-ho than ever that he did the right thing.”
Highly decorated Cpl. Ryan John Cummings, in a voluntary choice to return for a third tour in Iraq, paid the ultimate sacrifice for God and country when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle and he rose to eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus on June 3, 2006.
As we thank God for Ryan’s sacrificial service along with all of the veterans memorialized at this consecrated site and throughout the nation and world to honor Americans who have interceded to protect and promote freedom, the military orders from Jesus come to mind: “I am sending you out into a dangerous world filled with wolves…So be as wise and tough-minded as serpents, recognizing there are predators out there, and as tender-hearted as doves who help protect people from those predators.”
Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, the movie about legendary Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, comes to mind as Wayne Kyle says to his sons around the dinner table, “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world…they…[don’t]…know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep…Then you’ve got the predators who use violence to prey on the weak…wolves…and then there are those blessed…with an overpowering need to protect the flock…who live to confront the wolf…sheepdogs.”
By the grace of God, Cpl. Ryan John Cummings was a sheepdog who remains an inspiration to those called to the same who warrant our ceaseless thanks and honor.
With thanks to God for the life, personal cross-bearing, and now eternity of Ryan, we dedicate this brick in this sacred place to be installed side-by-side with other national heroes who followed Jesus through the valley of shadows to deliver us from evil in time to rise to eternity in heaven at His assurance, “He who believes in Me, though he die, yet will he live; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”
Let us pray.
Thank You, Father, for Cpl. Ryan John Cummings who followed Your most graciously saving example in Jesus to deliver us from evil in time. As we dedicate this brick in his honor to rest side-by-side with others who have obeyed the same call, we thank You for Ryan’s eternal life and the certain assurance of reunion in that pure and perfect place of personal peace where there is no more pain, tears, or suffering anymore. As Ryan is eternally alive and we feel his encouragement to the highest values of America based on Your Word, he continues as an inspiring model of Someone better with whom we pray, “Our Father who art in heaven…Amen.”
The grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the love of God, and communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
Blessings and Love!
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