Honoring Memorial Day

What is Memorial Day to you? The start of summer? Three days before you have to return to work?  Time to catch up on your sleep, lawn-mowing, television watching, and social media surfing?

Or is it a day filled with memories of people who gave everything to preserve what you take for granted?

Every Memorial Day I cut flowers from my yard and lay them on gravesites of family members. My father served in WWII. His grave marker lists his regiment and branch of service. My mother worked for the Army while my father battled in Europe and her marker reflects her contribution. My husband’s father served in WWI, headstone bearing the reminder.

I know of others—friends, classmates, and children of acquaintances—who served in other conflicts. All of them believed they were battling for our freedom, protecting a country unlike any other.

Not all of them returned home.

Visiting the cemeteries is an inspiring event. A United States flag adorns each place where a soldier rests, the hillside where the graves wait covered with red, white, and blue. Like individual plantings, the flowers left by loved ones dot the landscape with a riot of color.

In light of the current world crises, with horrible battles raging around the globe, I am reminded that the freedom under which I live is never free. Somewhere, someone, is fighting to protect me, bestowing a gift to be treasured—one in need of preservation, nourishment, and appreciation.

This Memorial Day thank a soldier. Or the family of one who didn’t come home. Let them know their sacrifice means something. Just as the Father sent his son to be the savior of the world, the lifestyle you enjoy and the freedoms you value are perpetuated because of a courageous soldier’s willingness to shed his blood. Let us never forget.

 John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son. . .”

Photograph courtesy of Google public domain images.

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