In America, this is Memorial Day weekend, and Monday will be Memorial Day–a day of giving thanks and remembering those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.
You probably know that Memorial Day began sometime in the aftermath of the American War Between the States. Both in the north and the south, there were days to place flowers at graves and to remember. Our Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and by the late 1860’s Americans in towns of both the north and the south started having springtime remembrances of those soldiers whose bodies lay in “almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971.
We certainly need to remember, and we need to give thanks. According to how young you are, it may be hard for you to imagine that 400,000 Americans died in WWII. Many of the veterans of that struggle for the freedom of the world are still living alongside those who have fought in Korea, Vietnam, and every conflict since. Families and communities have paid a high price for our freedom and our way of life.
Let us give thanks for all those who served and for those who paid the ultimate price.
I can’t think of sacrifice without thinking of our Lord–the One who had no sin but became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). He gave Himself that we might live, not just for a while but for all eternity.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).