Honoring Those Who Gave Their Lives

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15: 13

When I was teaching, we would occasionally come across a story about men, women and children from all over the world who dreamed of coming to this country to live. How blessed we have been to live in the United States of America.

I am so grateful for the freedoms that we have – that we take for granted each and every day of our lives. I love the history of our nation and so appreciate the brave men and women who have fought and died for our liberty and the rights we have as citizens of this great land.

Today on this Memorial Day, may it be a time to pause, honor, and remember the courageous men and women who have served and died for our country. Men and women who have unselfishly left their families, the comforts of home, the everyday pleasures and joys we take for granted, and their entire way of life to serve this nation.

For many it has meant leaving and going to a strange, foreign, and dangerous country. And for many, it has meant never returning home to their loved ones. How can we forget that this freedom that we so freely enjoy comes with a price, and that price is often the loss of sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends. And for many of those, who have been fortunate enough to return to their families, their lives will never be the same. What a sacrifice that we seldom consider in our everyday lives.

Memorial Day is not only a patriotic celebration in which we remember the wars fought and the freedoms won so that we might live in a free nation, but it is also a time to pay tribute to those who are defending our liberties around the world. Today, there will be heartwarming speeches made, many parades throughout the cities, the display and waving of many red, white and blue star spangled flags, and the most solemn ceremony of all, the placing of a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier located in the Arlington National Cemetery. But what little gratitude, recognition, and praise these brave men and women seem to receive on all other days for their service to our country. May we remember their sacrifice and show our honor and appreciation.

Today is also a time to thank God for those who have given their lives for us. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

What great love these veterans had for their country and for their countrymen. As we thank God for these brave men and women, may we also pause and reflect on what God has done for our country. Our Founding Fathers consistently spoke of His sovereignty and our Christian values in defining and preserving this great nation.

Our Constitution ends with “in the year of our Lord”.  Our nation’s motto is “In God We Trust”, and in our pledge of allegiance, we recite the words, “One nation under God.” God has blessed our nation with abundance and much wealth, but we have often failed to give him the honor and glory He deserves for giving us this land of opportunity and liberty. May we remember to do so always, and pray that our children and grandchildren will be able to live in the future with the same privileges and freedoms we have known throughout our lifetimes.

 Prayer

Dear God, today we honor those who have fought and died for our country and for those who continue to serve this great nation. Lord, we often take the freedom and privileges that we have for granted, but we thank you on this day for the many blessings you have given us as Americans. We give you all honor, praise, and glory. Amen

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