Celebrate or Observe: Memorial Day
I want to reflect on the meaning and significance of Memorial Day. We have become so comfortable in our country with taking all that we have for granted.
Even that saying “taking it for granted” washes over our ears as a meaningless and over-used “ism”. When we take something for granted we feel entitled to it. We do not believe that it requires any action, any attention, or any effort for that thing to be. And because “it” is effortlessly available to us we also do not feel any special appreciation for it. We didn’t even break a sweat and yet, we have every advantage of “it.” We didn’t lift a finger or chip a nail, and yet we are the direct recipients of the blessings of “it”.
In the case of Memorial Day or as it is also known, Decoration Day, on this and every day, we have all the opportunities that America offers. All the freedoms and all of the advantages. We have a country that people literally die trying to come to. It is unlike any other patch of earth that HAS ever or likely WILL ever exist on the globe. And why is that? The key is found in the reasons that we have a special day set aside called Memorial Day. And far too many of us don’t even know why this day is set aside, much less what we should do to commemorate it. Do we celebrate Memorial Day? Or do we observe Memorial Day? I suggest that we maybe do both.
Memorial Day is the 24-hour period that we, Americans, pause and reflect on the men and women who wore the uniforms of our various Armed Forces, and died while wearing those uniforms in service to their fellow country men and women. So, we observe: we pray, we honor, and we remember the lives lost and the families changed due to the dedication unto death of so many millions of people who have given all. We also celebrate. We celebrate the fruits of their efforts, their labors, and their sacrifices. But, mostly…and this is my personal challenge to myself and to my fellow Americans…we must live in such a way as to make their sacrifice worth it. We must unite our United States. We must LEARN and VALUE our Constitution and protect and defend those ideals and values laid out by our forefathers. Not one of them is disposable, and not one of them is to be trampled on by the selfish ambitions of politicians, and those who would have Americans live under the thumb of Big Government and held in the stranglehold of Tyranny.
Those of us who value and seek to protect and preserve the Second Amendment, most especially, bear the responsibility of teaching our children and our children’s children what this day means.
As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is only one generation away from extinction. We do not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, defended and then handed down with the well-taught lessons for them to do the same. Because, if you and I don’t do this, then you and I might well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men and women were free.”
So, as you observe and as you celebrate, please be mindful that none of what we enjoy and struggle through as Americans can be taken for granted. And stand with me in the deep reverence and prayer for the sacrifices that others have made on our behalf every single day, but most especially, on this day that we know as Memorial Day.