“[God] makes war to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire. Be still and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:9-10a]
History is NOT what you make of it. History is what actually happened, what came to pass. History is certainly capable of being molded by alternative reflections.
There is certainty, however, to the time, the participants and the events of history.
Think of the tombstones that mark any cemetery. The grounds may be immaculate, well-tended and clearly laid out. On the other hand, the markers may be of decaying wood in a growth of weeds. Whatever the upkeep, the summons is a common one: remember this one. Whether you place an urn of ashes or a casket of remains in the ground: remember.
In some lands, the ground is too crowded for such place-holding. There are cemeteries where people are dug up to make room for current needs. The remains are piled together in a pit, and their places are taken by others. Other means of dealing with overcrowding seem less grisly. The fact is we have to make room for the dead, for the dead take up space. That we should have some means of remembering them is a privilege.
This Memorial Day, there will be a variety of activities offered. There will be Memorial Day sales events, and Memorial Day barbecues. Memorial Day road races for runners and for automobiles will be available. Family events naturally generate around a three-day weekend. Even the most reclusive person can make Memorial Day a real party.
Until after the American Civil War, there wasn’t place for any official mourning. Before then, those who had fought for a nation were disposed of, often in pits. People would roam recent battlefields for recovery of precious metal or weapons. Then came a request of some mothers, to decorate graves of their fallen sons. This simple observance grew in practice until the Day became a reality in 1868. General Logan’s Order #11 was the directive bringing military graves recognition.
Memorial Day does warrant a pause for every person, everywhere. This is no longer a Day specifically for those who have defended our Republic. Graves of loved ones are tended with care and recognition, military or not. The admonition here is to intentionally take time to do the remembering. Remember those who gave all they could to provide for our freedoms here. Remember such valor, as it is Jesus’ teaching: “Greater love has no one…” Remember the One Who gave His life’s blood, that your sins would be forgiven. Remember His sacrifice, and their sacrifice make a great difference for all of us.
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