Sometimes we think Memorial Day is a day to remember those who currently serving in the armed forces, and that's fine. We need to keep those who are risking their lives for us, as well as their families, in the forefront of our minds.
But Memorial Day is the day we are supposed to remember those who died in service to our country...those who paid the ultimate price for us. Perhaps, as well, it's fair to remember those who survived the wars in which they served, only to die inside from all that they saw and endured.
Today, as you eat your hot dogs, or go to a movie, or take advantage of sales at the mall, take a minute to thank God for those who have given their lives for us. Thank God for their families, and pray for His continued grace and provision for those who have been left behind.
Today, I'll think of Milton, the uncle I never met, who gave his life in the invasion of Normandy. I'll remember the letters my dad wrote to my grandmother following his brother's death, and wonder how she ever got over the loss of her eldest child. I'll think of the widow Milton left behind, and wonder what it was like for Faye to lose her husband of only 5 years...and to live as a widow for the next 50.
I'll think of my cousin, Jackie, whose life was forever changed by injuries he sustained in Vietnam on another June day, a quarter of a century after Milton's death. I'll think of Jackie's parents and his brothers because their lives were also changed on the day that Jackie was shot.
I'll think of all the men and women who have so bravely answered the call of duty, and I'll thank God for each and every one of them.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. ~ Phillipians 1:3