Our freedom has never been free. It comes at a high cost.
Whether we think about the sacrifices on a national, history – wide level or more personally, on an individual life level, there have been many lives suddenly cut short because of war.
I never think of Memorial Day only at a National level.
This is a real family photo: my mother and her brother at Christmas 1956. He was a senior at USMA at West Point; she a newlywed of three months. All of life ahead with many joys yet to be experienced. And sorrows.
Life is like that here. Joys and sorrows mingle; peace is fragile and fleeting.
Lives are changed by war.
Memorial Day is intended for us to pause, reflect upon and acknowledge the very real sacrifices that have been made for our benefit.
I was 10 when my uncle was killed in Vietnam; he left a young wife with two young children alone. His family forever changed; his extended family as well. The day he was buried, my 5th grade class recited the Gettysburg Address at the school assembly. An activity that impacted me deeply.
“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…”
But the truth is, there is no lasting freedom, no lasting peace on this earth. True freedom and lasting peace can only be found in and through the Prince of Peace. The world is in an eternal conflict that will one day result in destruction that is unimaginable.
I am bent toward happy thoughts. Like imagining my mom and her brother enjoying eternity in the Presence of their Savior. I like to imagine that. Like thanking God for all those who were willing to serve this country with their very life. Today we have choices. We won’t always have choices. You might be of the mind like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind: ” I won’t think about that today; I’ll think about that tomorrow!” Funny thing is: tomorrow never comes. There is only today. Have you responded to the Call to “Come Follow Me?”
“…choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”