Unfortunately, many people just view Memorial Day as another long weekend and another day off. This is not only sad but incredibly disrespectful to all of the men who gave their lives in defense of this “shining city on the hill,” called America.
This depleted attitude sprung, once again, from the societal, anti-war, chaos of the 1960s when, in 1968, the U. S. Congress passed the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act.” This demotion of Memorial Day, from its 100-year-old traditional date of May 30th, to the last Monday in May, caused many to view it as just another three-day weekend.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, in keeping with the ancient tradition of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. It was officially established in the United States soon after the completion of the Civil War in order to remember, and honor, all of America’s fallen heroes, both Union and Confederate.
America suffered its worse loss of life during the Civil War. In fact, at 635,000 killed, it represented more men killed in battle than all of the other wars America has fought, combined. Nearly every family lost a son, husband, brother, uncle, nephew or father during the Civil War. There was an enormous level of grief to contend with and establishing a national day of mourning helped people cope with their loses as they remembered, and honored, the dead together, as reunited nation.
The courage shown by military men, particularly Christian military men, is the stuff of legends. A deeply held faith in God, and His promise of Salvation, plays an enormous role in the courageous lives of most military men. Christianity is truly the creator of courage. Without it, few would risk their lives for others.
America’s Christian military men are personally inspired to emulate Jesus, who died for the greater good of mankind. Christ is, and always has been, brave men’s inspiration. Not only does His promise of everlasting life give them peace during their dangerous missions but He guides them, stays by their side and ultimately, saves them, whether they live, or die, in battle.
So, this weekend, please do not neglect to visit the grave site of a fallen soldier and give thanks to God the Father for the courageous inspiration of His Son and for the “Christian soldiers” who follow in His footsteps.
The world would be a much depleted and profoundly dangerous place without them both. May God bless and keep them all.