Memorial Day is a special holiday for those of us who have served in the military and for our families. We have so much to be thankful here in America considering what others in the world are going through. We are truly blessed. This holiday is supposed to be a reflective one. Where we think about those who died, and not just from the recent wars. The fact that young men and women have sacrificed their lives for our freedom doesn’t make us unique – many other countries around the world have men and women who will do the same for their country. The fact we celebrate isn’t unique either – other countries have days of remembrance for their fallen. What does make us unique is the fact we honor all our fallen heroes – from all our wars – regardless of the cause.
It’s cliché – but very true – freedom isn’t free. While we haven’t had a true existential threat to our nation since the British invaded in 1812, we have faced threats around the world that could have become one. The Germans had invasion plans for the U.S. and were working on an intercontinental bomber before the war was over. Fighting on foreign shores ensures we never have to fight in the streets of Washington or Baltimore again. Having seen the horrors of war first hand and what it does to a nation, we should be grateful for that alone. Ronald Reagan so eloquently said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” We must never lose sight of the that.
Military families are well aware of the potential sacrifice each veteran swore to give if need be – and every time we stood for the national anthem in a theater – or at base retreat, it hits home. Someone’s father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter gave their life so we could live ours. Please take a moment this Memorial Day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice,and keep them in your prayers. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.