Long weekend alert.
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and it’s easy to forget that this national holiday is in no way akin to Labor Day, Veterans Day or the Fourth of July. It’s a day set aside to honor and remember men and women who have died in active military service.
As President Ronald Reagan once said during a ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery: “This is a day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others.” Jesus put it this way in St. John’s gospel: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
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Amid the barbeques, mega sales, outings and getaways, focusing on Memorial Day’s deeper meaning is a good thing to do. Here are a few practical ideas to help make that a reality:
▪ Fly the American flag at half-staff.
▪ Visit a cemetery and place flags or flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.
▪ Pause and think about the meaning of Memorial Day during the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m.
▪ Pray for God’s blessing and protection over all branches of our military.
▪ Send a “thinking of you” card to someone who’s lost a loved one in battle.
▪ Offer to take someone to the cemetery to help remember a loved one. Afterward, take him or her out for a meal.
▪ Organize a way to help a military widow or widower with a household project or other special need.
Let’s not get so wrapped up in the celebration that we forget the meaning of Memorial Day.
Penny L. Hunt