The Archive Collection

Archive Insider: Armed Forces Paperweight

August 3, 2021

The B-25 Mitchell bomber Devil Dog lands on a runway next to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Throughout 2021, we’ll be honoring our local heroes by showcasing items given to Billy Graham by law enforcement, firefighters, and military personnel throughout the course of his ministry.

On February 2 ,1977, Billy Graham visited Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. A marble paperweight with a medal inscribed with “U.S. Armed Forces Bicentennial Caravan” was given to him there.

Billy Graham showed a deep appreciation for all branches of the United States military. He often showed his support for the men and women on the front lines by visiting military bases while traveling internationally for his evangelistic Crusades, as well as preaching sermons and offering encouragement to the troops while in the United States. Billy Graham went to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base shortly after preaching at a Crusade in Sweden.

Billy Graham vocally shared his support for the military and reminded Americans that freedom is not free: “The freedoms we enjoy, the freedoms we take so much for granted, the freedoms we so often trifle with were bought not by the gold of our millionaires, nor altogether the genius of our scientists, nor the sacrifices of the people at home, but primarily by the blood, sweat and agony of those who died that we might live!”

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