What a blessed people we really are. We get the wonderful blessing from God to live in this wonderful country we called the United States of America. For almost 238 years we as a nation have seeming had the hand of God supporting our nation. We are easily one of the wealthiest nations in the history of the world. We are so blessed that we actually help support other nations that are not so easily blessed. We have sent money, politicians and on many occasions, our soldiers to help fight for those that are unable to fight for themselves. And today, on Memorial Day we get to be reminded of those that have fought and died for Freedom’s sake.
I have had family fight in nearly every way this great country has fought in. I had family fighting for freedom in the Revolutionary War. I had family fight on both sides of the Civil War. I had family fighting in both World Wars and every war since then. And while most of my family returned home, there are some who never did. So today is special to me. And the more I am reminded of the sacrifices my forefathers made for me the more this day is special to me.
And yet, for some reason our country has seem to forget what this day really is all about. I imagine that there are many of you, your family, and your neighbors celebrating this day in typical 21st century American fashion. You will be firing up your grills, some of you for the 1st time since winter arrived. There will be the smell of hamburgers, hotdogs, steaks, etc in the air. And for many it will be just another opportunity to drink to the point of intoxication. During the summers when I was in college I worked at the gas station just down the street from my parents. I learned that the three biggest days in that store happened in the summer; Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. In a small little town of 2000 people we would sell more than $10,000 dollars in beer alone (on just those days, let alone the whole 3 day weekends). It was staggering to me to see the coolers stocked full on Thursday night and nearly empty by Tuesday morning. I was shocked because I never envisioned Memorial Day as a day to consume. It was supposed to be a day to remember.
I challenge you to do just that. Remember. Remember a whole lot more than just whether or not you bought enough hotdog buns. Remember those that gave their life so that you can have that grilled hamburger. Remember those that lost moms and dads, sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters in the line of duty so that you can grill those hotdogs. And as you remember them, remember to thank God for their sacrifice. Remember to thank God for the blessing you have. Remember Memorial Day is not a day to honor yourself, but to honor the fallen that have paid the ultimate price.