I have driven down Route 50 through Grafton, West Virginia, many times. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that all these years I had been driving right by a National Cemetery! It is up on a hill, set apart just enough that you can’t see it from the road. A patriotic contingent of us Staddon’s attended a Memorial Day service there, and God blessed us with a beautiful day for remembering those who gave their lives for freedom as we know it today.
As I reflected on that excursion, I asked if anyone would like to write something for the blog in honor of Memorial Day. And Dad, a US Air Force veteran, took me up on the offer. Here is his insightful exhortation.
I saw a sign on a Memorial Day float yesterday that said, “Keep the ‘Memorial’ in Memorial Day.”
How important is it for us to remember?
Remember the Alamo – Why? Because the Alamo defenders remind us of those who were willing to die for an ideal. They cared enough to fight for what they believe in, no matter the cost.
The call to remember is not only a call to gratefulness for the sacrifice of others, but also a call to inspire us to sacrifice as well. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance to the threats of freedom in each generation. God has blessed us with freedom as an opportunity to serve one another, not as an occasion to indulge in self-centeredness (Galatians 5:13).
Donald Trump’s battle cry to “Make America Great Again” was a look backward to remember again our founding principles that have been the basis of God’s blessing on America.
As George Washington emphasized in his Farewell Address to the nation (1796): “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
We cannot have a government of the people without a moral people. And we cannot have a moral people without a religion that acknowledges the God who created all men equal and endowed them with unalienable rights.
On the other hand, we need to remember that Progressives (Democratic Socialists) dismiss these founding ideals. They do not acknowledge God and would have dictatorial tyrants determine how everyone would live and what rights they would be allowed to exercise.
So, on Memorial Day, let us REMEMBER!
Let us fight our political enemies as David fought his enemies, but let us primarily REMEMBER that the real battle is a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12), that it is the Lord’s battle (I Samuel 17:47), and that it is the Lord who girds us with strength unto the battle (Psalm 18:39).