Memorial Day is a welcomed day off, the beginning of the end of school, a great weekend for a trip to the beach, or a great excuse for a good ol’ neighborhood BBQ.
It’s also a day when the Red, White, and Blue hangs proudly from porches to remind us there’s another reason for the three-day weekend. Memorial Day is meant to evoke memories of wars, fought and finished, for the sake the freedom we so often take for granted – at least I do. Patriotic parades salute the fallen and honor the still living and breathing men and women who valiantly stood their ground on our behalf.
I have vivid memories of my Uncle Jack being in Vietnam in the 60’s. My mom and dad would send him care packages, tape recordings, and hand-written letters to remind him that family at home loved and missed him. I remember when he returned home too (he was in his early 20’s) and moved into our basement. As a little girl I had no idea the horror he’d seen, the adjustments he had to make, or the trauma he’d endured. I was just glad to have my uncle home. I often wonder how he feels today, what he thinks about, what memories surface on Memorial Day. I want to say “Thank you Uncle Jack for fighting for my freedom so long ago.”
Today we all know so much more about the stress and post-traumatic stress of war. Television and movies give us graphic pictures of the violence of battle and the physical and psychological affects of war. We have good friends who are chaplains in the army, and I often wonder what they endure as they minister to grieving men and women in the middle of combat. I’m thankful for their dedication. I’m also grateful that they pull from a Source much greater than themselves to bring redemption to the broken.
This past year I learned a lot more about the Military Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. They work hard to help soldiers, veterans, and their families find hope in the Gospel of Christ while in active duty, recovering from deployment, or adjusting to civilian life. They work hard to help those with PTSD deal with their stress and live full and meaningful lives. I’m grateful to know people, like those at the Military Ministry, care for our military. http://www.militaryministry.org/families/bthm-2
I’m thankful for those who have sacrificed their lives for our country. So many families have suffered great loss because heroic sons and daughters set their dreams aside to fight for “liberty and justice for all.” Thank you.
Most of all I’m humbled and so grateful for God’s protection. For hundreds of years we’ve asked God to bless America and He has. He’s protected and provided for us abundantly. He has preserved our freedom from sea to shining sea. Let’s remember, most of all, to thank God for His goodness.