Dec. 7, 2021, was the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. May 4, 2022, was the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. It was a major naval engagement between the Japanese Imperial Navy and naval forces of the United States and Australia. This was the first battle in history where the ships involved were not in sight of each other.
Dad was enlisted during WWII and was on the USS Yorktown during the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. After the war, he earned his BA and MA (eventually, his PhD) and served 20 years as a navy chaplain, retiring with the rank of captain. Dad left this life in 2010.
Last December, my brother, Paul (Chaplain, Colonel, US Army, Retired) and I republished one of Dad's books: The USS Yorktown at Midway. We gave it a new introduction, a new final chapter, and published it under the title of the book's first chapter: Dead in the Water. Richard DeRosset, a navy veteran, military historian, world-renowned artist and one of Dad's close friends, heard about the book and called me.
In memory of the battles of the Coral Sea (May 1942) and Midway (June 1942), and in honor of Dad, Richard painted a 24-inch by 48-inch picture of the USS Yorktown (CV-5) and of the USS Lexington (CV-2) in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Richard wanted to officially present it to me, Dad's oldest son.
That day was Sunday, April 24, 2022.
Quoting from "www.derossetpaintings.com/about-the-artist.html," Richard devotes as much time to researching a particular subject or historical event as he does to painting it. His artwork is displayed on canvas, paper, fabric and murals throughout the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, the Vatican, the Republic of Malta, and Russia, to name a few. In the United States, Richard's artwork is showcased in a host of museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, the President George Bush Memorial Gallery, the Port Columbus Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Ga., Patriot's Museum in Ohio, Naval War College and nationally acclaimed Maritime and Aerospace Museums in San Diego, Calif.
Richard's major ongoing art project is contributing to the restoration and beautification of the San Diego Veterans Museum. In this museum, he has painted seven wall murals (which took five years) and donated a fine collection of individual paintings to the museum. He has been selected as the official artist of numerous associations, galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Richard DeRosset has become one of the most sought-after marine artists in the nation. Richard maintains his extensive library and art studio in San Diego. He lives in Lemon Grove, Calif., near San Diego. (Contact him at [email protected])
After I presented the Sunday morning message in the Lemon Grove Community Church where Dad had been the associate pastor under my brother, George (Chaplain, Captain, USN, Retired), the people gathered in the fellowship hall. Pastor Dane gave a brief recount of the Linzey family's impact on the community, the nation, and in his own life, then Richard presented the painting of the USS Yorktown and the USS Lexington in the Battle of the Coral Sea to me. But he surprised me with another: The USS Yorktown in the Battle of Midway.
There's more to Richard than meets the eye. He ascribes all his talent, skill and energy to the Lord Jesus Christ. What's not seen is the tapestry of Richard's own life, his background, that created Richard the painter. But Richard affirms that everyone has a story that may be equal to his own -- if only we stop and think about it.
Carol and I have several tapestries hanging on our walls. The pictures portrayed on the front are beautiful and we sometimes wonder how the artist did it. But when we turn it around and look at the back, it looks like a mess. However, it is the crisscross of stitchery in the background that comes together and produces a beautiful work of art on the front.
Romans 8:28 helps us understand. And we know that all things work together for the good of them who love God and are called according to His purposes.
During both hard times and good times, turn to the Lord Jesus, the greatest Artist, and trust in Him to help and guide you. As you learn to relate to Jesus, you can learn to help and bless others as Richard does.
-- S. Eugene Linzey is an author, mentor and speaker. Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.