Memorial Day

This coming Monday is Memorial Day.  A time to honor those who have died protecting the freedoms we all enjoy.  Any soldier who has been in battle remembers the sounds of war and the charge against the enemy.  They remember holding their wounded comrades as they bled and breathed their last breaths calling out for those they love.


I recently read the story of a Vietnam veteran who returned to a battle field with some members of his squad where they once fought.  While there, he came face to face with a commander from the other side.  The soldier wrote the following regarding this experience. “Instead of charging one another with bayonets, we mutually offered open arms.  I invited all to form a circle with arms extended around each other’s shoulders and bowed our heads.  With prayer and tears, we openly shared our painful memories.  Although we did not understand each other’s language, we quickly learned that the soul requires no interpreter. People and nations rise above their differences only through effort, through trust.  Without trust, unity is beyond reach and restoration.  With trust, unity is within reach and preservation.  We must reach out to others in order to preserve the freedom we hold dear.  We are each called to bear witness to the ideals of liberty.  When we treat others with the respect and friendship that true liberty engenders, they will be brought into that same liberty.  We owe our dead and their survivors no less.  We owe our children much more.  We owe our children’s children even more.”


On Monday, when you attend a Memorial program and rise to sing “God Bless America” remember it is those who fought the fight in the past and those who are fighting on the battle field today that have made it possible for the blessings we enjoy today.