This is not a day of celebration, this is not a day to say "Happy Memorial Day", as we often see the banners streaming across the door way of a big box store, or your car dealers lot, "Happy Memorial Day!". My friends, there is nothing happy about it. This day is not a happy occasion to celebrate. It is a day of solemn remembrance for those who gave their lives under the banner of our nation. I am taken back by the celebratory mood that surrounds one of the most profound annual holidays in our nations docket of patriotic remembrances.
Photo: 16-year-old Deandra Christiansen, whose veteran father, Eric Christiansen, passed away in April 2013 at the age of 45. The teenager was among hundreds of relatives who gathered at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.
Memorial Day, a day of memorializing the men and women who died while in service. This is a serious day, a day that, in a perfect world we should never have to recognize. But the reality is our country has been at the tip of the spear in conflicts around the world since the time of our existence as a nation. And we have lost many Americans.
In today's challenging domestic environment it's even more crucial than ever to give our attention to the service members who have given all to our nation in order to ensure that the citizens of our nation can go about our daily lives, living and enjoying the fruits of labor that our military and the men and women who serve have provided, and continue to provide.
All too often many people in our nation will forget what this day is all about, the youth today are losing sight of what it means to give, to sacrifice, to put the person standing beside them first, instead of putting themselves first. As adults, we need to remind our youth constantly that we live in a very exceptional country, and they should take nothing for granted. We should teach them the importance of our military, and we should remind them that if for one day our military stopped working, that would be the day life as they know it would change in an instant. Our enemies would exploit the weakness, and over run our shores. Our military is a great wall, a barrier between us and the bad actors of the world. Sometimes our military has to take the fight to them, instead of letting them come here to our nation. And our men and women have given their lives on some far off piece of land in order to ensure our safety here at home. We need to drive that message home to our own kids, their friends, and even often times, the adults around us.
Photo: Christian Golcyznski accepts his fathers flag, Christian is one youth who will never forget the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Lets enjoy the day off, lets enjoy being in the company of the ones we love, but the whole while, lets not let the feeling of solemness, and remembrance leave our hearts.
We owe those who are no longer with us, that. Just one day is all they are asking. Memorial Day.
I pray that God will keep in a very special place those who died in service and long after, for they are the ones who gave of themselves selflessly, and they will be "Forever Young". And we'd like to ask all who read this to pray or offer a word of thanks at your barbecue for our troops both past and present, and set out an empty table setting over an empty chair at your dinner table, in memory, and in hope that our men and women serving today will always return home safe, and whole in mind and body.
Also may God Bless our great and very special nation, and may He protect those in harms way as they serve our country and its people today, and into the future.
Links of interest
- Time's Memorial Day History
- Wikipedia Memorial Day
- CNN Memorial Day Fast Facts and Timeline
- History Channels 8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day