It is so exciting to see things happening that were not able to take place a year ago. To say it has been difficult would be an understatement. One of the things that I have always enjoyed, and last year did not get the chance to enjoy, is the Memorial Day concert on PBS. It takes place on the Sunday evening before Memorial Day. To be able to watch the celebrities and hear the stories of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country helps me appreciate what I have today. I don’t know the names they are reading about. I have never met them in person. However, they still are people who did what they felt they had to do, just so I can enjoy what I get to enjoy today.
Memorial Day, or what began as Decoration Day, was first celebrated in 1868, after the “war between the states”, or the Civil War. “A man named John A. Logan called for this day to be a national day of remembrance. He declared May 30, as Decoration Day. The first big observance took place at Arlington National Cemetery. The celebration then moved to remembering those who died in battle from all American wars and it gradually became known as Memorial Day.” (Annette R. Smith, Savoringhome.com, May20, 2020)
There are different ways we celebrate Memorial Day. Some people have big Memorial Day picnics, complete with grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and all the trimmings. Friends and family gather to laugh and fellowship as they kick-off the summer season. For others, it is a time to head to the cemetery to place flags on the gravesites of those who served this country. Still others use this day to rest and relax, and quietly remember what this special holiday is all about. However you do it, on this Memorial Day, take the time to pause and reflect on what Memorial Day is really about. Don’t get so busy, or not so busy, that you fail to remember and give thanks for those who served their country and gave their lives.
As I think about this holiday, a passage of scripture comes to my mind. It is in John 15:12-13. These are the words of Jesus: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” While it is true that those men and women may not have known who they were fighting and dying for as individuals, they did know they were doing it for their country. They were doing it for everyone. Another scripture comes to my mind as well. It is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world…” This is another sacrifice. It was the sacrifice that gives us hope for eternal life. These two sacrifices, though different, were both done so we could enjoy what we have today, and the hope we have in the eternal life. I thank God today for those who gave their lives for this country. I give thanks and praise for the One who gave His life so I could have eternal life. Thanks be to God! Until next week…..
Peace and Blessings… Johnny