Valentine "Semper Fi"
by P. A. Meredith February 13, 2022
Our faith travels take us back to a three-day Valentine weekend, later in Mid-April, years ago, to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and our nation’s capitol. After watching the Disney movie, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, we learned the estate was a featured location in the blockbuster action-adventure. As seen in the movie, the cellar on the estate would soon be opened to the public, so we booked our travels to the Washington, D.C. area as well as our trip to Mount Vernon. Our campsite was located inside a Marriott in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to our “glamping trip”, we visited our local library and researched areas of interest for the best economical travel. We’re not cheap, simply frugal!
The Courtyard Marriott we chose offered free shuttle service from Ronald Reagan National Airport. Public transportation, by metro-bus or riding DC’s world-class Metro-rail system, solved the remaining problem for getting around the DC and Alexandria area. We managed to get maps and routes on specific areas of interest. This worked out well for us, as we did not have to worry about car rental fees and parking.
Touring our nations capitol city requires more than a weekend; however, we managed to highlight certain areas of interest; such as: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Monuments and Memorials, the Library of Congress, and a tour bus around town. When we first arrived, we headed to the National lawn. My hair stood on end with goosebumps. I turned to face our National Monument on one end and the capitol building on the eastern end. My heart fluttered. I was standing on the heart of our nation, our democracy, our freedom. I come from a family of Marines, “Semper Fi”. My great-uncle died on Okinawa in World War Two, defending our freedom. My father served during the Korean action, and my brother during the Vietnam era. I remember my father telling me how important it was to DEFEND our freedom and protect our country, not attack, or provoke. DEFEND is to ward off an attack and to attack is to apply violent force to someone or something. Our country is precious, and more importantly we are not bullies. Remember Ephesians 6:13-17 (1)
13 Therefore, take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:16 In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one.17 And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). - Ephesians 6, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
Visiting Mount Vernon, the home of our first president was just as exciting. We had lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, where staff dressed in colonial period garb. I loved the entire trip and hope to return again. Valentines’ Day is honored in lieu of Saint Valentine, held by some Christian/Catholic faith, believed to be the patron saint of love. According to an online article by Whitney Hopler, “Believers say God worked through his life to perform miracles and teach people how to recognize and experience true love.” (2)
Looking at the bigger picture, Valentine’s Day is not about giving candies, diamonds, or flowers. Although, I don't mind telling you, I fancy the dark Dove chocolates. Experiencing true love is with faith, hope, and charity. According to my bible teaching, the greatest of the three is charity. It is a spiritual communion with our heavenly father. It is kindness and patience. Love has no need to boast or be green with envy. Love holds no anger or animosity. It rejoices in truth not injustice or evil, or corruption and power. It is “Semper Fi” (always faithful).
1. Ephesians 6:13-17, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition. Retrieved online at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6&version=DRA
2. Hopler, Whitney. (2021, September 5). Saint Valentine's Story. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/st-valentine-patron-saint-of-love-124544