On Memorial Day, many celebrate the three day weekend to party, have barbecues, enjoy the beginning of summer, have a good time and etc. But we need to remember that on this day, we should take a moment of silence to mourn and to remember those who had fallen for our country. We wouldn’t be here without the soldiers. Memorial Day is about men and women who gave their best. They did what they were called to do to protect the nation, our nation.
These are men and women who endured and went through very difficult times but they did not leave their post. They gave their lives and they saved the nation and for that, we should honor them. And we should really give thanks to what God has done. It was the soldiers who gave us the freedom of democracy and freedom of speech, and more.
It’s been said that back in 1866, in Columbus, Mississippi, a group of women began a tradition of memorializing the fallen confederate soldiers from the battle of Shiloh by placing flowers at the soldiers’ graves. The first community-wide observance happened in Waterloo, New York that same year with a ceremony to honor local Civil War veterans. In 1966, a century later, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress declared Waterloo to be the “birthplace” of Memorial Day.
It had become widespread practice across the nation by the end of the 19th century to observe May 30th as a day to honor the fallen Civil War soldiers. In 1971, Congress established its observance on the last Monday in May. In 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance Act” asking all Americans to pause at 3:00 p.m. for a minute of silence in remembrance of all those who have died in military service to America.
As those men and women died, they gave their lives for you and me. How do you feel about that? How do I feel about that? It should move our hearts for the people who are in public service. We should pay homage for their bravery and our admiration for their achievements.
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” The brave soldiers died for our freedom.
A saint dies for his faith. A great soldier is someone who has the ability to lay his life down to take a bullet for you and me. In Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
These are desperate times and we need desperate leaders. We need to endure hardship as a good soldier. Ask yourself, “Am I mature and strong enough to withstand difficult times? Do I have a strong devotional life?” You want that maturity so you can be a blessing for those around you.
Do you have the endurance to stay and stick it through? It’s important that we don’t quit. No matter what happens to you or me, it’s important that we don’t run away. Let us teach and instill this important value to our children and those around us.
2 Timothy 2:1-4 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Be strong in faith and be strong in grace. Pass down what God has given to you. Endure hardness as a good soldier. That means you cannot throw temper tantrums when you don’t get your way.
You have to be strong enough in Christ to realize that if you’ve made mistakes, God will help you through.
A Savior died for our sins, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. “23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
And this is the highest form of love.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” ~ Billy Graham
“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” ~ Norman Schwarzkopf
“A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.” ~ Novalis
If you would like to learn more about Memorial Day, here are some links to check out:
United States Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp
Library of Congress American Memory: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may30.html