Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of those anti-holidays. It’s not exactly a happy celebration, although the picnics and parties can be fun.

As I celebrate Memorial Day, even if it’s only by taking a day off work, I think about my grandfather. He was a proud veteran from the Korean War. He didn’t talk much about his experiences, but I remember pictures of him in his uniform. He passed away a few years ago. At his funeral he received the traditional military honors.

As part of our celebration in church today, we sang a song called “Freedom’s Never Free” by Phillips, Craig & Dean. The first verse goes like this:

Standing on a hillside
Where the river meets the sea
White crosses without number
Line the fields of peace
And each one a silent witness
Staring back at me
Every cross a story
Of another place in time
Where young men thought it worthy
To give their life for mine
And for the sake of honor
Left their dreams behind
And for the price they paid
I'm forever in their debt
Their memory will not die
'Cause I will not forget

Our heritage as human beings and as Americans is marked with individuals who were willing to pay any price for freedom, whether for religious freedom, democratic freedom, individual freedoms, or spiritual freedom. Whether they were fully aware of the causes they fought for, or the people’s lives they would impact, they gave their lives.

Today Americans are in the military, working and fighting all over the world. We pray that they return home safely. Each one of them knows that there is a chance, however remote, that they may be asked to pay that ultimate price. They continue to serve the people in our country by making the world a better place.

However you celebrate, take a moment to give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy, and the people who made that freedom possible.

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