This weekend, Memorial Day, marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Rightfully, we take the opportunity to gather with friends and families, those we hold dear, to celebrate. As we celebrate with our loved ones, we should keep in mind the purpose for this holiday. It is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of all that we hold dear.


America has always been an exceptional nation, founded upon sacred principles that have spurred our people to aspire to become successful. America has been the ultimate proof that ideas matter and have consequences. In 1776, when the Founders enshrined the truth that all men are born equally free and independent into our nation’s founding charter, they signaled to the world that America would strive to be motivated by God’s truth. We have not always lived up to the promise placed in the Declaration, but we have fought to see that the promise of our nation is fulfilled.


Our soldiers have been on the front lines of those battles, preserving and earning liberty for the oppressed people of the world. With few exceptions in our nation’s history, America has engaged in wars to preserve and spread the blessings of liberty. This sentiment can be seen throughout our history. During the Civil War the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” clearly stated the cause of our nation: “as He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free.” This has always been the creed of our armed forces: fighting for justice.


From the inception of our nation, young men and women left behind their homes, their families, and their loved ones for a role in the carnage of war, putting their lives at risk. Unlike in every other nation known to man, these citizens did not sign up because they were protecting their bloodline or because their head was filled with a hereditary love of land, but because they believed in that proposition that “all men are created equal.”


On Memorial Day, we take time to remember those honored fallen, who never returned home. It is distinct from Veterans Day, where we take time to honor those who safely returned home, but it is hard for us to treat them as separate holidays. We cannot remember and honor those fallen heroes without feeling a debt of gratitude to those veterans we know in our lives fortunate enough to have returned.  But in between the barbecuing and family activities this weekend, let us take the time to say a prayer for those who died in service of their God and country. Let us pray for their families. Pray that we, as Lincoln noted, take “increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” Most importantly, let us thank God that such men and women exist!

 
 
 
  
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