God's mercies are new every morning: Great is his faithfulness!
Honor such people (Philippians 2:29).
As a deeply-seated Christian virtue, honor too often gets overlooked. But as people live and choose and sometimes die in ways that reflect God and his Son, we do well to pause, recognize them, and express to ourselves, others, and God the value of their example. Memorial Day offers such an opportunity. I’ve asked Jim Erickson, our Facilities Administrator, to reflect on the holiday:
My first recollections of Memorial Day are as a young child standing with my parents on a dusty, hot baseball field in our town park, listening to a bunch of speeches that seemed to last hours. As I entered my later elementary years, I began to watch and enjoy war movies. My favorites were To Hell and Back with Audie Murphy, The Green Berets and Where Eagles Dare. As I watched these movies, my understanding of “boring” Memorial Day celebrations changed. Memorial Day became a day to honor the soldiers who served our country fighting in wars. In high school, I developed a love of history, subsequently my major at Gettysburg College. Through these studies of our country’s history and the freedoms we have, along with my age (especially filling out my Selective Service registration), I really began to appreciate the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed services. And so Memorial Day became for me the day it was set aside for:
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971 (from the History Channel Website).
Just as Joshua set up stones in the Jordan so the people of Israel could remember (Joshua 4), it is important for us to remember and honor those who gave their lives for our country. I hope tomorrow you will celebrate with loved ones the freedoms we have: take in a parade, listen to a speech, watch an appropriate film, and so remember those who gave all for us.