Last week I wrote about my dad. He is interred at the Florida National Cemetary which honors the military service of our Nation's veterans. My mom and I have walked among only a few of the thousands of granite headstones that mark the graves of these great men and women. Some of the headstones date back to the World Wars and are weathered by the elements. The sections are not separated by military rank. Headstones labeled, "Matthews, Gonzalez, Lebowitz, McNamara and Hersheimer" are lined up next to each other. A band of brothers that not only served together, but some laid down their lives for their country.
For you were called to freedom, brethren, only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)
Most died for selfless reasons; for a cause greater than themselves. They did not just serve one another. They served you and me.
Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 5:13)
They didn't lay down their lives for just their friends; they did it for strangers. They did it for people not even born yet. Even if they didn't give their life, they were ready and willing to do so if duty called. Some laid down limbs or their freedom to walk (our beloved paralyzed vets) so that we might walk freely in this great country of ours.
Since the Revolutionary War, soldiers fought for our freedom - in particular our freedom of religion.
And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Thy precepts. (Psalm 119:45)
I truly appreciate that I am at liberty to worship freely...to carry my Bible openly in public and pray before a meal at a restaurant. By studying God's word and learning the "truth", the truth has truly set me free.
"and you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:32)
These great veterans made that possible for me and I am forever indebted. There is one soldier I have to remember and worship on Memorial Day, and that is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has and does go to battle for me every day against the forces of evil. He has defeated death and set me free by His sacrifice on the cross. He has set me free from being a slave to sin and death.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
My prayer this Memorial Day (and every day) is that we would pause from our barbeques and honor these veterans both living and dead who gave so selflessly for our freedom. May we show them the honor and respect due them.
To the soldiers and my Savior I say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart. Have a blessed Memorial Day.