Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day -- Do Not Cheapen Their Deaths By Forgetting Their Sacrifice

So what are some ways to observe Memorial Day?

First thing, please don't say "Happy Memorial Day!" That is a very disrespectful greeting to the families of the fallen.

To say "Happy Fourth of July" at a bar-b-que or fireworks display is appropriate, but memorial observances are solemn and really not what anyone would consider a "happy" occasion.

Memorial Day is a day that we have set aside to honor our members of the armed services who have been killed in action, or have once served and have now passed away.

It is a day when Americans are supposed honor our fallen warriors. It is a day to do our duties and honor those who have fallen and the bereaved families, those orphaned and widowed.

For more than two centuries, Americans have been called to defend the founding ideals of our democracy. On Memorial Day, a grateful Nation remembers the proud patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of liberty's blessings.

From the opening battles of the American Revolution through the turmoil of the Civil War, to World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan, and today's many operations around the world, the members of our military have built a tradition of honorable and faithful service.

As we observe Memorial Day, we remember the more than one million Americans killed in action to preserve our freedom, the more than 140,000 who were prisoners of war, all those who have been declared missing in action, those Veterans who have passed on, and their loved ones.

We should show our gratitude towards those who have fallen and their families in the following ways:
  • By adorning their graves with flowers and garlands.
  • Adorning the graves of the soldiers with flags.
  • Visiting military cemeteries, or the veteran's section in cemeteries.
  • Attend observances, services, and memorials.
  • Furling the American Flag at half-mast until noon.
  • Keep silence for a minute at 3 p.m. which is the "National Moment of Remembrance"
  • Listen to Taps being played.
  • Take a pledge to aid the disabled veterans, widows, widowers and orphans of the fallen and keep it.
  • You may support the efforts to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th.
  • Offering thanks to the veterans and appreciating the ultimate sacrifices of the soldiers to the bereaved families personally may help too.
And yes, show gratitude towards those who have fallen because they indeed died for us.

As for those who see no reason for Memorial Day? Those like the jerk who once asked me, "What do you mean they died for us?"

Just for the record, I refuse to hear the sad old saw from some about how our troops died for no reason, or that those killed in action died in vain, or that their death was not for us but for money or politics or oil or whatever. I refuse to hear it because all of our troops, everyone who ever died in uniform, they all have died attempting to do great and noble deeds.

It's true! If we look at the big picture, then they die attempting to set nations free, to save lives, to feed the world, to free enslaved people, stop conquest, and to protect our way of life -- our uniquely American society based on the principles of freedom and liberty.

Yes, freedom is something that is fought for and fought for and fought for, generation after generation after generation. 

While that is the big picture, the small picture, the more personal picture, is even more impressive -- because our troops die in battle for each other.

That's right, they died for the freedoms we enjoy every day. And more so, in more cases than can be imagined, they died so that a buddy, a comrade, a fellow member of his or her unit, could make it home.

As for those Vets who came home changed from that happy-go-lucky young man or woman who left home to answer the call? They know full well that the fallen now live in memories that would make most men, those who've never served, wet themselves.

Today, we remember those killed in action and those veterans who have passed. 

Please pray with me:

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of them, their faces, their laughter, their smiles, their bravery, and how they followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, by dying for us. 

Please hold our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and shower them with your blessings. Please remember they stood the test when others didn't, all for us.

Dear Lord, let us not forget. Let us not diminish their deaths by forgetting their sacrifice.

May we also remember the families of our troops. Because they have the tough job of waiting and wondering and worrying, we ask for your blessings to fill their homes. We pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their hearts.

May God bless the veterans who are with us, and those who have passed, and their loved ones. 

May the members of our nation's armed forces be blessed with the courage to face each day. May our troops serving today around the world trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish their mission.

And yes, may they know our love and respect and support as we honor them. 

In Jesus name I pray. 

An American Bald Eagle on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. For me, it is a sign from God.

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