May 24, 2012

Memorial Day

My friend Tom Butts from Monroeville, Alabama wrote about Memorial Day in a quite moving way. Without his permission, I would like to share it for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Soon . . . we commemorate Memorial Day originating in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day when graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday soon changed to Memorial Day, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971. There is also a Confederate Memorial Day, variously celebrated in some of the southern states. Memorial Day helps us remember Veterans.

A thoughtful writer put it this way:

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

What veterans do for our country and the church lives in our hymn “They’ll know we are Christians by our love” suggests: “We will work with each other we will work side by side . . . And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.”

As we remember to remember may I quote myself from last Sunday’s sermon: “We are at our best when we remember; we are at our worst when we forget!”

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