LET’S LIVE HEROIC

Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here. Let me introduce you to heroes. Ordinary people like you who live heroic.

The first hero is my father Roddie Edmonds. He was so ordinary. Yet when confronted with matters of life and death in a German POW camp, dad looked evil in the eye and dared a Nazi to shoot. His moral compass never wavered. His life mattered. He was extraordinary.

The second hero is you. Yes you! I’m convinced that your ordinary life lived well is extraordinary —even heroic. One life can make a big difference and you are that difference. Your life matters and it matters most when you invest in others.

Join dad and me in living heroic. Follow dad’s selfless footsteps. March to the cadence of compassion. Run to battles in your world. Stand against hatred with courage. Speak truth to power through love. Do what’s right for others regardless of the risk, regardless of the circumstances. Light your world with goodness and hope.

How? Like dad did. Love God best and serve others first. Let’s live heroic. Be the hero!
"Hero!"
"Incredible"
"Spartacus"
"Awe inspiring"
"Brave beyond belief"
"Fearless faith"
"Courageous"
"Compassionate"
"A true Christian"
"Deserving of the
Medal of Honor"

Master Sergeant

Roddie Edmonds

The Nazi Commander made his orders very clear: only Jewish American prisoners of war were to fall out the next morning and be separated from their fellow brothers in arms being sent to an uncertain fate. “Just the Jews—no one else—all who disobeyed would be shot.” However, Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, a soldier of deep Christian faith, would have none of that. As the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer held by the Germans at Stalag IXA, he ordered more than 1,200 American captives to fall out with him and fearlessly pronounced: “We are all Jews here.” He would not waver, even with a pistol to his head, and his captors eventually backed down.

Seventy one years later, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native was posthumously recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, Israel’s highest honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the holocaust. He’s only the fifth American and the first American serviceman to earn the honor. And he is the first person to rescue American Jews.

“Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds seemed like an ordinary American soldier, but he had an extraordinary sense of responsibility and dedication to his fellow human beings,” said Avner Shalev, chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial. “The choices and actions of Master Sgt. Edmonds set an example for his fellow American soldiers as they stood united against the barbaric evil of the Nazis.”

Sergeant Edmonds has been recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal. Other honors include the Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Yehi-Or Award from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, and more honors too numerous to mention.

pastor

chris edmonds

Lord...all that we have accomplished you have done for us. —Isaiah 26:12 NIV
Pastor Chris is founder of Roddie’s Code, an organization committed to extend the leadership and legacy of his father to future generations. Chris is inspirational speaker and author of the award winning book No Surrender: A Father, a Son, and an Extraordinary Act of Heroism That Continues to Live on Today with coauthor Douglas Century.

Chris earned a business degree from the University of Tennessee, and a Masters degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. As a Senior Professional in Human Resources, he has taught moral courage and leadership for Corporate, Government, Military, and University clients. Chris and his high school sweetheart Regina, live in East Tennessee with their three amazing daughters and sons-in-law and ten of the coolest grandchildren on the planet.

Chris recalls, "My journey began with my father’s old diary—a weathered, fragile book. I could never have imagined that dad’s cryptic words scribbled in war time haste would lead me to discover a New York Times article about President Nixon that referenced my father’s WWII military service."

Remarkably, that article led to a providential meeting with Lester Tanner, a grand soldier from the greatest generation, at the Harvard Club of New York. Then, upon Lester’s encouragement, I began an epic journey pursuing a Medal of Honor for my father of which I am still seeking. Unbelievably, two years of hard work led to the incredible honor of dad being named Righteous Among the Nations with the help of my heaven sent friend Lawrence Goldstein.

As a result, I made my first trip to Israel and an unforgettable visit to Yad Vashem, the world’s holocaust authority. While there, the Associated Press released dad’s story with media sending it to every nook and cranny of the planet causing it to go viral on Facebook and trend on Twitter.

One month later our family would have the incredible honor to join dignitaries from across the world at an historic righteous ceremony in Washington DC hosted by Mr. Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. Also attending were Rabbi Lau of Israel, movie maker Steven Spielberg, and special guest President Barack Obama. And best of all, Lester Tanner, Paul Stern, and Sonny Fox, Jewish American POW’s whom dad saved, along with their families, joined us for an unforgettable evening.

Later that year, I had the honor to follow my father’s footsteps in Belgium and Germany with a film crew sponsored by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. The result has been two award winning documentaries, one of which received an Award of Excellence Special Mention by the Best Shorts Film Competition at the 2018 Academy Awards.

My father’s legacy is the 1292 men he saved including their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and generations to come. More than 13,000 people are alive and well today because of his selfless actions.

My father’s remarkable story and my improbable journey to discover it reads like a Hollywood script—but it’s all true. Dad’s life is timeless, transformative, and treasured. Join dad and me in living heroic. Do what’s right for others regardless of the risk or circumstances. Light your world with goodness and hope. Like my father, love God best and serve others first.

Be the hero!

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LET’S LIVE HEROIC!

"Your ordinary life lived well is extraordinary—even heroic. Be the Hero! " - Pastor Chris Edmonds
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