Today’s Memorial Day celebrations will be filled with family and friends and fun, as well they should be. I hope that we encourage each other, as we enjoy the holiday, to remember what the Memorial Day celebrations should be about. Today we honor our fallen: those that gave the ultimate sacrifice as men and women of the military and as first responders.
It is so easy to take our freedoms and blessings for granted as we actively go about our busy daily lives. But, this day should bring solemn reminders to our hearts that freedom is certainly not free. It has been passed to us with a ghastly price – the lives of our citizens in the prime of lives.
This Memorial Day is unique in that it is the 150th anniversary of the holiday. In 1868 America was reeling from the ravages of the Civil War. That year, concerned women made their way through the grave stones of the Confederate and Union soldiers and placed flowers on their graves. This was a selfless act of sympathy and empathy and to promote the unity and healing that would be needed. It has, of course, become a very important national holiday, known as Memorial Day.
This year also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars,” it was deemed. Just a few decades later would bring another terrible conflict as World War II exploded and so many more lives were lost.
The sad truth is that war will not end wars. Might doesn’t make right and it surely will never bring peace to the inner man. The heart of mankind is the problem and it desperately needs the Prince of Peace, who calms and satisfies the soul.
Our National Anthem will be played many times today across our land as we encourage each other to honor our flag and country. Taps will be played and sang, bringing sad moments to many hearts.
Many do not know that there are lyrics to Taps. We always hear the eerie tune played on a trumpet at military funerals and events, not realizing there are words to the tune.
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
There are legends of how these lyrics came to us; none can be verified. But they are very appropriate in the Memorial Day celebrations.
For all those who we are remembering today – their day is done. The sun has passed from their lives, but we wish they could still experience the lakes, the hills and the beautiful skies alongside us. But no, all is well. They are safely laid to rest because their God is nigh and will comfort our souls in their absence.
Have a safe and blessed Memorial Day.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27)