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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    St Germain, WI
    Posts
    542

    Default What is Memorial Day

    I want to dedicate the following to my father who was KIA in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge offensive, I was just 7 months old. To my step-father [my dad], who served in the Pacific in the Navy as a navigator on a PBY bomber. His group received a Unit Citation among other awards. To an uncle who served on Eniwetok atoll during the A-bomb testing, and uncles who served in Korea, and to my father-in-law, who was a “lifer” and served under Patton. But mostly, I dedicate this to all the my bothers and sisters who have served, or are serving including my granddaughter who is in the Navy in Rota, Spain.

    The Meaning of Memorial Day
    What is Memorial Day? Remembrance has long been a part of this world. In Scripture "remember" or one of its derivatives occurs more than 240 times. From the very beginning of time, God's people, the Israelite's, were instructed to remember. Remember the covenant that God made to them. Remember their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
    Remember God’s commandments. Remember that they were slaves and that God had brought them out of slavery. The Jewish celebration of Passover is essentially a ceremony about remembrance. Remember what a good and gracious God did for us in sending his Son to take our place and die for us!
    And finally, the greatest remembrance for mankind is really just the opposite. As God's people, he promises not to remember our past sins and transgressions. From Scripture it says, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
    So, here we are at Memorial Day. Has this special day of remembrance been lost on the American people? This certainly is a sacred day for all war veterans. None of us need to be reminded of the reason why Memorial Day must be commemorated.
    But what has happened to all those who benefit from those who have given their lives but pay no respect? Is the general public insensitive? Don't they care about this precious freedom that they possess and how that freedom was achieved?
    And more importantly, what about future generations? Will they understand what patriotism is or at what price their freedom has cost! We need look no farther than our own neighborhoods. Take a poll and see how many of your neighbors know when Veteran's Day or Flay Day occur.
    And what about Memorial Day—is it an important day to remember? Changing the date merely to create a three-day weekend has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day. Judging from what Memorial Day has become—simply another day off from work—the answer is a resounding "No." I believe the general public needs a reminder, and it is the duty of each and every veteran to relay the message.
    Many have said at various times and various places that this nation will always remember those who have served and died; but will they? Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. America's collective conscience demands that all citizens recall and be aware of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime. And for the ladies, I mean countrymen in a collective way. Certainly, women have given their time and lives as well to preserve freedom for this nation.
    Far too often, this nation, as a whole, takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy. Those freedoms were paid for with the lives of others few actually knew. That's why they are all collectively remembered on one special day.
    This should be regarded as a civic obligation, for this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice in the memories of future generations.
    Those who have served this country, and in particular, those who have paid the ultimate price with their lives, came from all walks of life and regions of the country. But they all had one thing in common—love of and loyalty to country. This bond cemented ties between them in times of trials, allowing a diverse lot of Americans to achieve monumental ends.
    Today we remember the loss of loved ones; spouses, friends, patriots: a sense of loss that takes group form. We remember those who made the greatest sacrifice possible—giving one's own life. John 15:13 states, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." And I would like to add here, country.
    Means of paying tribute vary. Pausing for a few moments of personal silence is available to everyone. Attending commemorative ceremonies is the most visible way of demonstrating remembrance. Placing flags at grave sites, marching in parades, sponsoring patriotic programs, dedicating memorials and wearing Poppies are a few examples.
    Whether done individually or collectively, it is the thought that counts. Personal as well as public acts of remembering are the ideal. Public displays of patriotism are essential if the notion of remembering our honored war dead is to be instilled in our young people.
    As America's 8+ million war veterans fast disappear from society's landscape, there are fewer and fewer standard bearers left to carry this beacon, this torch of remembrance. Such traditions will live on only if there is a vibrant movement to which that torch can be passed. Each and everyone of us must be the standard bearer. Carry the torch. Continue in a dynamic, energetic, and aggressive movement and pass the torch.
    "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"—and his country. Memorial Day is not only about remembering the men and women who made the Supreme sacrifice. It is about acknowledging and protecting the ideals they died for so that their sacrifice will not be in vain.
    Our war dead and our veterans deserve our honor, our duty, our service, and our dedication in keeping the torch of "Remembrance" lit.
    God bless all of our service men and women and may God continue to bless the United States of America. Rev

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    The Keweenaw Peninsula
    Posts
    4,728

    Default

    Very nice Rev.

    I believe we are all guilty of taking our freedoms for granted from time to time. I too wish that Memorial Day was focused more on the sacrifices made by those who have served this country. We live 365 days in peace and safety, giving one day a year that is dedicated to them is not too much to ask. I wish I had the solution to make this come true, but I feel that until our country is thrown into the turmoil that the Greatest Generation when through, we will continue to do the way things do.

    I can say that I am grateful to live in an area where Memorial Day and the true nature of the holiday is very much alive.

    God Bless America.

    -John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    St Germain, WI
    Posts
    542

    Default

    Thanks, John. I also live in an area that is very supportive of veterans. As a life time member of both the Legion and VFW and on Eagle River's collective Honor Guard and Chaplain of the America Legion, it is still humbling to see so much support and at times brings me to tears. I might be a man of God, but very close behind, I bleed red American blood and "hurt" for all veterans.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Under a rock
    Posts
    390

    Default

    Nice rev....sounded from the heart

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