How to “Remember” on Memorial Day
A few years ago I was visiting some friends in Colorado. They had a young woman living in their spare bedroom who was the wife of an American soldier serving in the Middle East. While I was there, my friends received a tragic message.
This young woman’s husband had been injured by an IED. As more information came in, they discovered the young man survived, but had lost both legs during the explosion. His wife and her parents quickly packed to visit him in a military hospital where the long road to recovery and a new way of life would begin.
Of all of the places on the earth, I happened to be in that location, allowing me to witness a family and community forever impacted by the tragedy of one soldier serving his country. I have often thought of this young man since that time.
On Memorial Day, we traditionally reflect on the lives of those who have died while serving in the armed forces. However, this is also an important moment to remember all of our military personnel—and their family members—as they continue to protect and serve our nation.
As we consider Memorial Day, let’s take time to remember three privileges we enjoy as the result of the service of our armed forces:
First, let’s remember the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
This includes our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and many other practices we often take for granted. Did you know that in more than 50 nations today, official restrictions exist against practicing Christianity? Many countries also deal with problems regarding war, racism, women’s rights, and governmental corruption far beyond what we face in the United States.
Second, let’s remember the responsibility we have as Americans.
This first includes living to make a difference in the lives of others. Just as our troops serve us, we can live to help those in our communities and beyond.
It also includes how we treat our veterans and their families. Anything we can do to help with the marriages, housing, education, parenting, health care, and other needs of our troops should take high priority. There is no reason any veteran should be homeless, lack health care, or die without a proper funeral.
Third, let’s remember to pray for our armed forces and their family members.
We can offer practical assistance and intercede on behalf of those who serve. Take some time today to pray for the military members you know, their family members, and our veterans. Encourage your church to invest more time to specifically pray for our troops and military families. You may even be able to put together cards or care packages for military members and their families in your church or community.
We can’t all serve in the military, but we can all support those who do. This Memorial Day, let’s both remember our troops and reach out to those around us involved in the military. It’s the least we can do after all they have done for us.