Memorial Day

As Claudia Pemberton said, “America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.” Both are guardians worth remembering.
Once a year, we set aside Memorial Day as a day of remembrance.
As Tamra Bolton said, “This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.”
Pentagon records show that the cost of our freedom already includes a million American military dead.

All gave some. Some gave all. We honor those who gave all with taps.

Officially, taps is a bugle call. Officially there are no words to the melody. Unofficially, there are traditional words.

Day is done, gone the sun, from the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Thanks and praise for our days, neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Listening to taps can bring tears to our eyes. Yes, weep for those left behind. Look what’s happened to our country without our fallen heros.
But, don’t weep for these deceased.
In giving their lives for us, they achieved the purpose of life.
What is the purpose of life? Good question!

MOSES taught it as the heart of the Jewish faith:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deut 6:4-5

JESUS expanded it:
This I command you: love one another. John 15:17

St Peter gave us a step by step path:
“… so that … you may come to share in the divine nature, …
make every effort to supplement your
faith with virtue,
virtue with knowledge,
knowledge with self-control,
self-control with endurance,
endurance with devotion,
devotion with mutual affection,
mutual affection with love. 2 Peter 1: 4-7

How do we climb St Peter’s path to love? By making choices. Real choices. Hard choices. Those million deaths were each the culmination of a series of hard choices building up to the moments when they died. Why are our military people, past and present, willing to give their all?

Arthur Ashe gave us half the answer, “True heroism is … not the urge to SURPASS all others at whatever cost, but the urge to SERVE others at whatever cost.”
Jesus gave us the full answer, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:5

St Paul explained the importance of hard choices to increasing our ability to love:
“… let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, …” Romans 5:3-5

Our military dead did not let us down. Let us resolve to not let them down. Let us live lives worthy of their sacrifice. Let us fulfill the purpose of life.