Have you ever noticed the gravesites of our brave and courageous American soldiers are marked by crosses, or by the Star of David?
These fine men and women lie in honor all around the world. They fought against oppression and for freedom, under the banner of a Christian nation. That’s what those crosses and stars symbolize.
WWII American Cemetery, Rhone, France
This week, leading into the first of three American holidays that honor patriotism and patriots, I find myself meditating on Memorial Day and why we celebrate it.
Memorial Day was originally proclaimed as Decoration Day on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was borne out of the devastation of the Civil War in a desire to honor those who lost their lives during this terrible time in our history. The tradition has carried forth through the years and now encompasses all of the wars that have touched our nation.
Today we pay tribute in remembrance of those who died in service to the United States of America. “Yeah,” you say. “But what does this mean?”
Lives. Men and women who died. Take a look at the following numbers. Let them overwhelm you. And keep in mind these are only the verifiable numbers – which makes me wonder how many were missed in the final count.
In Flanders Field, a poem by Major John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
During my research for this blog, I ran across this notice: The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”
So, I wonder, why don’t we hear anything about this moment of silence anymore? I challenge you. On Monday, May 30, 2016, at precisely 3:00pm your time – STOP. Ask yourself where you and yours would be without the sacrifices made by those who believed in and fought on behalf of our country? Remember them. Thank them. And pray for their families.