Memorial Day is a wonderful holiday full of family gatherings, outdoor activities and sporting events, but so often in the busyness of the holiday, the message and purpose of Memorial Day can escape us. Some things are worth fighting for. Most of us may never fully understand the sacrifice these men and women have made on the battlefield so that we can enjoy the blessings of liberty. Some of these soldiers were young men and women barely out of high school that made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so that freedom could ring throughout our country. Many of these soldiers had wives, husbands and children at home, yet they chose to take up arms to defend our country against its enemies and paid the price with their precious lives. These brave soldiers gave up the special moments of life so we could live and breathe free. Many never saw the birth of their child, the memorable growth of their child, their child graduate from high school, or college or take the oath of marriage. Many never celebrated a wedding anniversary, enjoyed a new house or planned for retirement. There was an empty seat at so many special moments of life because some things are worth fighting for. These soldiers were thrust into a waging war far from home and with courage they faced the ultimate challenge before them. At times there heart was lonely crying out for home and their family. At times they were scared as bullets whizzed by them and they had to fight against a fercious and relentless enemy who continued to attack them day after day after day. But some things are worth fighting for. I try in my mind to fathom such a sacrifice, but I was not on the battlefield, not in the trenches, not in enemy territory and not in the waging war. In the comfort and routine of our lives, we so often forget and do not honor these men and women who answered the call and ran into battle only to lose their lives. Some things are worth fighting for. I think of the words of our Lord in the gospel of John;
Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life
for his friends.
What love of country, what love of Americans, what love of liberty that drives a man or woman to lay down his life for their friends. What an incredible sacrifice, but some things are worth fighting for. These men and women understood duty and honor to their country, They understood bravery and courage in the face of the most difficult challenges and circumstances. They chose to march forward often while we slept so that we could remain free. Freedom is not free. It has a cost. The blood of these young and old warriors throughout the history of America has been a banner of honor to this country since its beginnings. Let us take a moment this Memorial Day to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice of these men and women and thank God that they believed in duty, honor and courage to their country. We would not have the United States of America without you. Thank you that you had the vision to realize that there is some things worth fighting for. Let us hope that you never died in vain for we still remain free and we live in the greatest country in the world. Let us never forget the men and women who died so we could be free in this country to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let the words of General Douglas Macarthur ring true today:
“It is my earnest hope – indeed the hope of all mankind – that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world found upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.”
God bless America and God bless the families of all those who made such an incredible sacrifice.