And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. Daniel 2:21-22
Memorial Day has always been a favorite holiday, the day that kicks summer off! I remember my parents discussing the meaning of holidays with us. “Do you know what Christmas is? Do you know why we celebrate the 4th of July? What is Memorial Day?” Those were those wonderful and carefree days.
I knew what Memorial Day was, and we talked about people we knew that gave their lives for our country. My generation did not know many. Still, Memorial Day was the unofficial beginning of Sum Sum Summer! I planted the head knowledge of my childhood into my heart this year, more deeply understanding the correlation between supreme sacrifice and privilege.
Memorial Day, a time to remember, has never been more important than it is in 2021. Until recently, I felt relatively unaffected by changes in America. Today I see glaring evidence that America’s changes were setting us up for a fall from which recovery would be unlikely.
It is heartbreaking, but understandable. Our country was born because of families that sacrificed fortunes and lives frequently for the way of life many of my peers have enjoyed, but our grandchildren may not. But, hope in God. We celebrate and remember soldiers of every rank that made “the ultimate sacrifice.” These soldiers had families and names and we frequently know neither. We remember.
What the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents is sacred in my heart. The way they guard this tomb with respect, loyalty, love and brave determination is a picture of why America has enjoyed freedom. Brave and high-minded men and women fought, often filled with fear, for a better day. What loss to families and communities when these warriors did not return. They sent freedom back in their stead. They fought for a dream, that became the United States of America.
I have enjoyed that freedom and the freedom to take it for granted. Spending time in remembrance and gratitude today is sobering. In solemnity I think, “Oh what an ungrateful nation we are. How could this have happened?”
The answer is painfully evident. En masse, my generation neglected teaching their children what is right and good and pure. These unlearned children may never understand and appreciate America. They know not of supreme sacrifice.
Families quit going to church together. I rejoice over a remnant that clings to the cross and its victory. By God’s grace, He showed me where truth is found. We are an imperfect group, but a thankful group. We understand we are recipients of mercy everyday. God’s grace flows about us and through us. We teach it to “our kids” that they can experience love of God and love of country.
The privilege to have been born in the United States is a gift of God. For over 200 years, people from every country have fought and labored to become Americans. The world called us, with affection, a melting pot. America has stood for righteousness; we have a goodly heritage, aligning with God’s people, Israel.
God knows the battlefields across this land, bathed in blood and prayers of soldiers for my sake and I remember today. He is Alpha and Omega. He heard the prayers of the Revolution and He hears our cries today.
I pause, too, to remember the soldiers, some in uniform, some not, that are fighting for our freedoms today. This is a battle that can never be won without the hand of God. So long as we live, may we be One nation Under God.
With God, all things are possible.
Take time to remember, then celebrate the liberty you have, because of a soldier or because of Christ. The cost of all liberty was blood.
Keeping with the holiday of remembrance, I leave you with 2 quotes to consider:
The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous. Frederick Douglass
When people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty. John Barnhill