Memorial Day 2008

by Rocket Finance

Foreign readers may not know much about Memorial Day, but most countries have holidays for remembering. Most of you will still identify with the sentiment of this day. In the United States, Memorial Day is set aside to remember the sacrifices of our military men and women over the 232 years of our country’s existence.

When I think of Memorial Day, my first thought turns to D-Day, the pivotal moment in World War II, when the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy. What must it have been like to be one of those soldiers as the boat approached the shore and be greeted by the bullets and bombs of the Third Reich? Most of these men knew that there was little chance that they would survive this day, yet they continued to move forward. They did not run away, or cower in holes, or surrender – they moved toward the enemy without thought for their own safety. My train of thought then moves to the others who gave their “lives, fortune, and sacred honor” throughout our nation’s history: the soldiers in the Continental Army at Valley Forge, the incredible heartache of the Civil War, the World Wars, the struggles against Communism – all of the other conflicts in which members of our citizenry were willing to sacrifice everything for the cause.

Think about the 100’s of thousands of nameless individuals – known and loved only by their families – who were willing to throw themselves into danger so that the ideals of our nation could be advanced. As I look view military cemeteries with their endless rows of uniform stones, I realize that each one represents a life cut short. Each one is a person who forfeited his chance at prosperity, happiness, and family life so that others would have that chance.

Today, I sit here with my coffee and wireless internet and health insurance and a comfortable home and religious freedom and a multitude of other blessings that their sacrifice afforded me. I must ask the question: Am I willing to die so that others can live in freedom and prosperity?

What are you willing to sacrifice for the happiness of others? We must appreciate the sacrifice of those who disregarded all thought of their own goals, but simply “soldiered on” in the face of extreme odds – even when there seemed to be no hope of a positive outcome. Most, never knew that their mission was eventually accomplished.

This topic reminds me of three quotations that hold wisdom and are pertinent to Memorial Day. One from popular culture and one from one of the greatest speeches of all time and the final, a passage from the Source of all Truth:

Gandalf, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy:

So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you can decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address:

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. 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 — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Jesus Christ, the Bible, in John 15:13:

Greater love has no one than this, that one who lays down his life for his friends.

Have a happy Memorial Day with friends and family, but do not forget those who made it possible.

  1. 2 Responses to “Memorial Day 2008”

  2. By fathersez on May 26, 2008 | Reply

    The huge sacrifices made by our forefathers, be them soldiers, farmers or just our parents have all contributed to the comforts of life we enjoy today.

    Our generation, however seems to be more of a “me” generation. I wonder if the same spirit you have mentioned as said by Lord Jesus exists in our hearts and minds today.

  3. By rocketc on May 26, 2008 | Reply

    There will always be a remnant. . .a faithful few. I pray that I am one of them.

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