May 6, 2014


I’ve been a World War II buff since elementary school. My grandparents lived through the Japanese occupation of Singapore and Malaysia, and I grew up with their stories, which transfixed me from an early age.

So you can imagine how excited I was to visit the D-day beaches of France’s Normandy region on a recent trip to France. The beaches and the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer are simply some of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever visited.

At the cemetery my family and I made our way through a small portion of the final resting place of more than 9,000 young men and women. The sight of rows upon rows of Latin crosses and Stars of David, immaculately lined up and facing west toward America, took my breath away. As I stopped to read a few names, noting the dates of their deaths, I was greatly impacted at the idea that so many of them were so very young.

There were several graves unlike the others that bore words both powerful and accurate. “Here rests in honored glory,” they’d say. “A comrade in arms known but to God.” When my son asked if those were graves of unknown soldiers, I answered, “God knows who they are.”

In that moment I felt the peace and certainty of knowing that the God who knows those resting in those graves otherwise “unknown” is the same God who knows every piece of our hearts and every unspoken prayer today.

Next month that cemetery will fill with surviving veterans and dignitaries as they commemorate 70 years of an invasion that changed world history. God knew then, as He knows now, what the future holds. A God like that, who knows every name and every heart, is a God to be trusted. Always.