Memorial Day

Yesterday I spoke for the St. James Cemetery Memorial Service. Preparing to speak helped me focus on the fact that Memorial Day is very important in the life of our nation.  It’s easy to forget, which is why we need a day like this to remember.

We remember those who have died serving our country.  Their lives have given us freedom.  But it also helps us remember other family and friends who have gone on before us.  Our lives are what they are because of the road paved by our ancestors.

Some people bemoan the fact that Memorial Day has just become a three day weekend full of parties and celebrations.  There’s even some legislation in the works to return Memorial Day to May 30 every year instead of the last Monday, so it will stand alone as a somber remembrance.

But, I think one of the great byproducts of this national holiday is to connect with family and friends.  We want to be grateful and celebrate the lives that have gone on before us.  But, we also want to remember and celebrate those who are here now!

It’s a reminder that we only have so much time on earth.  I’m saddened to think of so many young lives that have been taken too soon through wars over the years. And the truth is that no one knows how long they will live – there is no way to know.

So take today. Remember the deceased.  Remember the living.  Celebrate both.  Tell stories.  Share meals.  Live life!  Be grateful.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Phil 2:3-4

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