HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY
Is that the right way to say it? Is Memorial Day a happy day?
CELEBRATION AND HONOR
We celebrate freedom by honoring those who have bled and fallen in the defense of this great nation. Wherever they have gone, wherever they have stood, they placed their lives between us and danger, threat, or tyranny. Today, we honor the fallen.
Not every war has been thought of as honorable. Not every war escaped being politicized. Not every returning soldier has been treated like a hero.
Soldiers go to war because they have to. Popular or unpopular, just or unjust, Americans have fought and died because we asked them to go, we sent them. Many brave young men and women volunteered, but they went because they were needed.
DO YOU KNOW THIS LYRIC?
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored, He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword. His truth is marching one.”
Consider some of the words:
- Terrible sword
Are those words the words of war? Of soldiers marching to battle? Of death and judgment? Do they refer to the forces of Heaven defeating the forces of hell?
The song suggests that the Lord our God wages warfare by pitting the forces of light against the forces of darkness, and he does so with wrath and a terrible sword.
MY OWN EXPERIENCE
I didn’t serve in the military so I can’t speak from experience. I don’t know what it is to fight in a war, or to shed blood in battle. I haven’t been required to take up a weapon in service to our country, to protect our nation, to guard our liberty.
But my family has.
My father was career Air Force and fought in Korea and Viet Nam and he did so with pride and with accomplishment. My brother fought in Viet Nam and served two combat tours, receiving a number of decorations, including three Bronze Stars. My other brother served in the Navy and did so with distinction and recognition.
I’m proud of them and honor them; and I thank God they came home.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY
Using the word happy may or may not fit your experience. Do as you like and say as you please. Fly your flag, or don’t. Pause to give thanks for those who have served, or don’t. Be grateful for those who gave the last full measure of sacrifice, or don’t. It’s up to you.
Its up to you because you live in a country that is free.
Its up to you because others fought to secure your freedom.
Today, you get to stay home and enjoy it!