For most Americans, it’s just a day off from work. Many don’t stop to take the time to understand just what Memorial Day truly means. Today’s blog will explain the meaning and help us remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Memorial Day always makes me think of my dad. Although he didn’t die in the Korean War in 1951, he received a life threatening injury that plagued him until the day he died. His platoon was attacked in a valley in Korea as mortar shells were lobbed into their vicinity endlessly. He was hit in the knee with shrapnel from one of the rounds and was “tank lifted” out of the area to a hospital in Japan. He spent one year in the hospital before he was allowed to come home, discharged honorably from the Army with two purple hearts. The family still owns the purple hearts and are proud of his willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice in an unpopular war. That’s what we celebrate today. Those that were not only willing but did give up their lives for this country. Remember the families of those that died today in prayer.
Similarly, Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice of His life for our freedom too! Only Jesus could save us from the power of sin that holds us in bondage. His death, burial, and resurrection paved the way for us to live a life free from the power of sin. Freedom personified! Let’s also honor Jesus today and every day for the ultimate sacrifice he made for us, even those of us who want nothing to do with Him. Remember Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
So on this Memorial Day, lets remember our fallen heroes, pray for their families, and worship the one true God who defined freedom, Jesus Christ.