Memorial Day

It Is Good to Be Thankful: Appreciation makes the world a better place…

Monday is Memorial Day which honors our American soldiers who lost their lives defending our country. There is something quite special about people giving up their lives for someone else. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” It has to be even more meaningful when you lay down your life for those who may not really understand or appreciate it.

As a young child I was a bit confused about the meaning of Memorial Day. In school, we learned that it was a somber time dedicated to honoring those who died in wars. In the Midwest, our family called it Decoration Day. Each year we would travel from St. Louis to the countryside of southeast Missouri—where my folks grew up. All the relatives would gather at cemeteries and put flowers on the graves of loved ones who had died during wars. Old people would reminisce about days gone by and the kids would sneak around to run, jump, and play.

As an older child I couldn’t understand why a day devoted to those who died fighting for the freedoms of our country was called a holiday. When I thought of a “holiday” I always thought of celebrations, parties, or vacations. Sadly, that seems to be what it has become—a three-day-weekend to have more time for ourselves.

There was a time when almost every man living had fought in some war for our country. Since our freedoms have become somewhat secure, fewer men have had to do this. However, many died so we could be free. Memorial Day commemorates the death of all those who lost their lives in military service to protect our freedoms. Memorial Day is a time to remember them.

God is very big on us remembering things. In fact, He was constantly reminding the Israelites to remember all He had done for them (Deuteronomy 7:12, 8:2). He wanted them to remember how He had delivered them to freedom (Deuteronomy 5:15). I guess freedom was just as big a deal in biblical times as it is today.

I’m thankful for Memorial Day and a reminder to be grateful for those who gave their lives in the past for the freedoms I enjoy in this country today.


“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord...” ~ Psalms 92:1 (KJV)

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