The Reason we Observe Memorial Day
Many people no longer have an inkling of why we observe Memorial Day. To them it is just another holiday for which they may or may not get off from work. To many it is a day to get together with family or friends to go boating, fishing, or to bar-be-que in the back yard with friends and family. And if asked why they get to have this extra time off for leisure, the younger generations really can’t answer you. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the older Americans definitely know why we celebrate Memorial Day. In fact, many older adults still call Memorial Day, Decoration Day, as that was its original name. These same older adults may spend the day going to cemeteries to lay wreaths upon the graves of loved ones or fallen soldiers. But somewhere along the line, some of these same older adults have failed to explain the importance of Memorial Day just as they and society in general has failed to explain to X, Y, Millennials, Gen. Z, and the Alpha generations what it means to be patriotic. (Please don’t lambast me if I got some of the generations’ names wrong, or I left out a generation).
It is sad that we have failed the following generations by not teaching and showing them the importance of patriotism and holidays that recognize the sacrifices of people who have gone before us to give us the special country that we live in today. We take things for granted and in doing so are on the cusp of losing the greatest Republic that was ever established. God was there for our forefathers and helped them to form this country with its unique constitution and freedoms. Yet, today there are many people who want to destroy that constitution and take away many if not all of the freedoms that we have been given. That is why true born-again Christians need to pray and ask God to protect this country and the freedom that so many have given their life to protect. Moreover, Christians need to start mentoring their children about some of the historical holidays and about the importance of patriotism. They need to teach our children that history is a way of learning from our past so that we do not repeat the same mistakes again. Just as importantly, older Americans need to teach or mentor our current generations on the fact that history is not something that we have to get rid of if we don’t agree with what our ancestors have done. Instead, history is to be treasured as learning experiences that we don’t have to duplicate in order to become a better society. But denial of our wrong doings will never make us a better society and such denial may lead to repeating the same mistakes made in the past.
Memorial Day is a history lesson as well. For, Memorial Day is a historical record of all the wars that we have fought and why we fought them which are told from family members who have lost relatives in the wars to protect our country. Although, Memorial Day may be a time to play with family and friends at the lake and in the backyard, or a time to go shopping for big sales, it is first and foremost a time to recognize all the men and women who have given their lives to keep this country free. It is a time to reflect on what we would be if not for the ultimate sacrifice these men and women have made for us. It is also a time to thank God for our freedom. Indeed, Memorial Day is a time to pray on bended knee for the continued freedom of our country and for the safety of our troops wherever they are serving. In the same prayer of thankfulness for our freedom, we need to also thank God for the blessings that He has bestowed on this country and ask Him to continue blessing us. In addition, we need to pray for the healing of our country and our land. In fact, God has told us in Scripture, “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” -- (II Chronicles 7: 14. NLT).
Have you reached out to God today and thanked Him for your freedom? Have you thanked God for this country? If not, perhaps before the day is over or over the next few weeks, we should all thank God for our freedom and our country. Perhaps we should also commit to mentoring the next generations on the meaning of Memorial Day and patriotism. If we don’t do it, we could lose this beautiful country to those who actually are being taught to hate what America stands for and to hate the history of America. It is time to get on bended knee and pray for our country and our children. You can do it! You can share our history and the love of our country with others who know nothing about our country. So, take a few moments this week-end and share the history of your family and talk with your children about those members who have died for our country. If you get the time, take your children and your young people to a cemetery where your family is interned. Talk to them about the sacrifice that your loved one(s) have made for the freedom of our country. And, then pray with your family giving God the glory for all your blessings and the blessings of this country. You can do it!