Nena Arias | May 21, 2018
On the website, History.com, we find an apparently simple and succinct description and definition about Memorial Day that says, “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. This year, Memorial Day 2018 is on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.”
In this short paragraph above, you learn the basics of what has become known as Memorial Day in the United States. But it entails so much more than meets the eye or can ever be adequately expressed in words. The truth is that defending freedom has always been bought through the shedding of much blood and we owe a debt of gratitude to countless people whose names we will never know.
First and foremost, we know there isn’t a more important blood that was ever shed for our total freedom, spiritually, emotionally, physically and materially than the blood of our precious Savior Jesus Christ. His blood is the most important blood that was ever shed for you and me no matter where you live in the world; it will never lose its power to save, heal and deliver the entire human race, past, present and future.
Having said that, we know that living in this world and its quest to gain independence, power and control over others for gain is an ongoing battle worldwide. As a result, struggles and wars are always going on. At present, www.warsintheoworld.com reports an estimated 67 countries are involved in over 773 conflicts and wars that are being fought in the world today by militias, guerillas and terrorists. The list of these wars and conflicts was updated as recent as May 21, 2018. This is strong evidence that the ongoing fight for freedom most always results in much bloodshed.
So, it is with much appreciation on this Memorial Day, that we honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom here in America, where we still enjoy a significant degree of freedom, we are more than grateful to all those who fought and shed their blood to fight for and defend these freedoms we enjoy today.
President Richard Nixon, though not one of my favorite presidents, expressed the following on Armed Forces Day, May 19, 1973 at Norfolk Naval Base, and I couldn’t agree with him more. I will quote excerpts:
“Men and women who wear the uniform of our country are supposed to salute the Commander in Chief…but on this day I, as your Commander in Chief salute you, each and every American who serves in our Army, our Navy, our Air Force, our Marine Corps, and our Coast Guard. Your courage your steadfastness are the backbone of America’s influence for peace around the world…We owe you a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay… to the more than 2 million men and women now serving in uniform,…to the millions of veterans who have returned to civilian life; to those missing in action and those magnificent men who ‘roughed it out’ in enemy prisons camps; and above all, to the memory of those who gave their lives for their country…We are thankful too, for the strengths and the sacrifices of American’s military families…The whole world today is watching to see whether the Star-Spangled banner still waves…Let us prove that it does…Then we can look to the future with confidence that Armed Forces Day in the years to come will be…a day of peace for America and for all the people of the world.”
On this Memorial Day, we are more than thankful for all who have served and are serving. We especially honor those who have fallen and say a great big thank you and may we zealously guard the sacrifices you all made.
Above all, may we honor our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and the inestimable price he paid for us all with the shedding of his precious blood that continues to give us the life that truly matters today and throughout eternity.“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16