Remembering Those Who Gave All

Remembering Those Who Gave All

On Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day — a day set aside to remember the men and women who lost their lives serving in our nation’s Armed Forces.

As one website honoring the true meaning of Memorial Day states: Memorial Day started off as a somber day of remembrance; a day when Americans went to cemeteries and placed flags or flowers on the graves of our war dead. It was a day to remember ancestors, family members, and loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. But now, too many people “celebrate” the day without more than a casual thought to the purpose and meaning of the day. How do we honor the 1.8 million that gave their life for America since 1775? How do we thank them for their sacrifice? We believe Memorial Day is one day to remember.

I, for one, am grateful for the sacrifices of those who risked and gave their lives on the field of battle to secure, preserve and protect the unparalleled freedom we have long enjoyed — and often taken for granted — as Americans.  They made the ultimate sacrifice in support of a cause larger than themselves:  this grand experiment we call the United States of America.

We are the beneficiaries of their legacy of freedom, and we are charged with protecting and continuing that legacy. We are also the stewards of God’s gift of freedom.

As I ponder the sacrifices of those who gave their lives protecting our freedom on the field of battle, I am reminded of President Ronald Reagan’s words:  “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

This Memorial Day weekend, let us each make a conscious effort to reflect upon the sacrifices of our fallen men and women in uniform.  Let us never take their sacrifices — or our freedom — for granted.

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