Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day – Remember!

The face of the LORD is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.  Psalms 34:16-19
Over the past century, more than 35 million men and women answered the call to arms in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and countless unnamed military engagements. More than half a million of them never came home.  Some died in battle, others in captivity; all died too soon.

Recent military action in Afghanistan and Iraq has offered fresh reminders of the human reality of war: ordinary men and women leaving homes and families and all they know to risk their lives for an ideal of honor, or duty, or just to protect the soldier next to them.  People of patriotism and goodwill may debate the merits of any given war, police action, or humanitarian mission.  But there should be no debate about our debt to the hundreds of thousands of our citizens who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives heeding the nation's call to service.

Memorial Day is more than the start of summer. It is a chance to pause and Remember the sacrifices -- remember the gallantry and bravery -- Remember the fallen.  It’s a day America sets aside to Remember those citizens who took a few steps farther than most.  These men and women volunteered to don a uniform, raise his or her right hand and swear to defend the Constitution against all enemies. While millions of Americans have taken those extra steps, for thousands it would be their final footsteps.
It’s for those whose feet will never tread upon the earth again that we Remember on this single day of the year.  The bravest of the brave, heroes we called soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines or coast guardsmen.  None took the oath knowing their time on earth would end too early.  They had hopes, dreams, desires; they thought about the future.  But these people didn’t return, at least not as they left. Most returned to a lonely ramp at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

As we go about our everyday lives we shouldn’t be admonished if we don’t Remember them with sadness and mourning. After all, life isn’t about grieving every day.  So as we go about our lives, we will take one day to accomplish one single task: Remember.  While enjoying the freedoms that came with the sacrifice of someone we never met, we should Remember.  While we enjoy the freedom to be who we are, Remember that somewhere someone will shed a tear, something they’ve done every single day since they received the most terrible news they will ever receive.

To those families; the children, the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, the husbands and wives, we say thank you. Thank you for the sacrifice your loved one made for us, and for the sacrifice you live through every single day. We can never change what has happened, but we can always do one single thing: Remember.

In our worship services this Sunday we will collectively give thanks for those lives sacrificed for freedom.  We will Remember!

Scripture to Claim:
"For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken," Says the LORD who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

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