Memorial Day posts are never super popular or fun… if they’re done right. A memorial, by definition, is “is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event.” So when we observe Memorial Day, we remember and honor the soldiers who have given their lives for our sake, and for their families who have endured unimaginable loss.
We celebrate our Independence Day on July 4th. We celebrate our veterans on November 11th. But today is set aside as a serious day of remembering and observation.
In 2011, I wouldn’t say it’s in our national toolset to truly observe and memorialize loss and pain. We tend to WANT to forget these things. We want the better life. The life WITHOUT suffering and pain, regardless of how impractical.
And I get it. Many of us get the day off of work. It’s become a holiday of sorts. Anytime we get a day off of work it’s worth celebrating. But Memorial Day is best served by at least taking some time to recall and remember and to teach our children what their freedom and their lifestyles truly cost.
Men and women thrust into unimaginable terror. Bullets whizzing by. Watching friends, and sometimes children, torn to shreds. War is never anything but ugly. Sometimes necessary, sometimes not. But war is always horrific. The dehumanization of humanity is never anything if not grievous. God created man in His image, and he has defiled this image and so deconstructed the worth of his fellow man that he would aim to kill him for the sake of more land, more power, more control, or more resources.
We do not blame the men and women who fight in the trenches, because it is not their call where or when we do battle. They serve, and they obey orders. This is their role. We honor them for showing up, for agreeing to serve their country, and for not sowing the discord that would arise from a hundred thousand independently minded soldiers. They fulfilled their role well, and we honor them for their service.
May God have mercy on their families. May God give wisdom to our leaders, both public and hidden. And may God have mercy on our world.