Originally intended by mothers, wives and daughters of those who died in the Civil War as a day to remember the terrible cost of war, a day for healing, a day to pray for peace, Memorial Day has become a day to remember all our loved ones, especially those who served in the armed forces and died while on active duty.
It has become common place to pray for those who gave their lives for our freedom, and so, from time to time, we need to be reminded that few gave their lives, their lives were taken from them by the violent tragedy of wars that have not always been about protecting our freedom, but were engaged in for other reasons. Nevertheless, they died in service to their country, doing their duty as they were called to do it, expecting to come home to a better way of life, but paying the ultimate cost.
Let us offer our prayers for each of them, commending their souls to Almighty God that, their sins forgiven, and abounding in the steadfast love of God, they may rest in peace. Let us offer our prayers for our leaders, that the time may not be far off when wars will cease and nations will live in peace with one another. Let us offer prayers for each other, that we may be slow to urge sending our young men and women into harm’s way. Let us offer our prayers in the name of the Prince of Peace who died once for all.
Not all victims of war died during war. Some carried their wounds throughout their lives. They too deserve our prayers, and our unending commitment to do something about that.
1 thought on “Memorial Day”
You make a very good point about our duty to respect the veterans, and especially those who did their duty and lost their lives in doing so on this Memorial Day, whether or not we agree with the policy of the war itself or its cause. The very first Memorial Day was to decorate the graves of those who fell to preserve the Union, but soon wisely also included those who had fought on the other side: In 1867 the women of Charleston first began the annual decoration of the graves of the Confederate dead, which was commemorated in a poem by a little known Southern poet, Henry Timrod:Sleep sweetly in your humble graves,Sleep,mar-tyrs of a fallen cause; Though yet no marble column craves The pilgrim here to pause…Stoop, angels, hither from the skies! There is no holier spot of ground Than where defeated valor lies, By mourning beauty crowned. Some would consider these verses offensive because they cannot approve of the cause,as many who did not approve the Vietnam war were rude to the veterans of it. But the dead in the line of duty deserve respect. Dr B