Fred N. Kuipers

Fred is a veteran of World War II. His tour of duty, after training, was in the South Pacific as a tail gunner on a B-17 and was involved in rescue work with the 6th Emergency Rescue Squadron attached to the 5th Air force. The squadron, which was based on Ie Shima, just off Bolo Point of Okinawa, rescued approximately 317 persons.

Fred was directly involved in rescue of one person along with our crew when we landed on Saichou, an island off the tip of Korea to rescue a P-51 pilot who had been forced down on an abandoned fighter strip. Fred states the “he was grateful to be in that position because I felt we accomplished what we had been assigned to.”


Thanksgiving is a day we think of good things to remember.
Not just a day off from work in the month of November.
We thank God for many things, especially for life.
We are even thankful amidst the present strife.

Life has its days of trials and trouble.
The beauty comes forth in the times of struggle,
Just as a bit of carbon, which is under great pressure
Becomes strong and firm as it is shaped into a treasure.

Our Country and its people, though brutally violated,
Are still the same nation, that a Holy God Created.
We were formed by Godly men, who stood on a firm foundation
And even in our shortcomings we are still that same free nation.

Truly, we have been blessed by God even in our imperfection.
God’s light shines bright from sea to shining sea, for we are His reflection
Of Hope in the shadows of darkness and despair;
For in our strength of purpose, there is a heart of compassion and care.

For all the people in this terrorized world
We can stand tall on this Thanksgiving Day, as we look at OLD GLORY unfurled
And Thank God for strong hearts, filled with God’s love unfailing.
For we are a blessed nation, with God’s purpose always prevailing.

We are chosen by God to overcome all evil inventions
No matter how ungodly are their intentions.
For we will survive all things, through Christ who gives us strength,
No matter how difficult, and no matter what the length.

We can even pray for our enemies, that they might see God’s light
As we thank God, for giving us the right through His might.
Yes, this nation of people is a beacon for all to see
Christ in the hearts of the Home of the Brave, in the land of the free.

Author’s Note: Freedom is a gift of God and this is my Thanksgiving poem for 2001