- John 15:13 (NLT)
The verse above from the Gospel of John tells us simply what sacrificing life for others clearly states and why we honor our fallen military warriors today. Each of them, no matter what their duty at the time, died as part of an effort to keep Americans free. Millions of Americans over the years have gone to war and hundreds of thousand have died, but through it all those who are gone knew that they were in harm's way against fearful enemies, yet they willingly did so anyway.
Now I've seen and read many comments on this day how it is a day to honor those who have served and, of course, any day is a good day to celebrate their service, but on this day we honor those who have died and never got to come home. There were young husbands and fathers who never got to see their new baby son or daughter. There were nurses working in hospitals near the front lines who had their lives snuffed out during a bombing raid. There were teachers who would never teach again and preachers who would never preach again. They were all ages, some even younger than enlistment age when they slipped through the cracks in their fervor to be part of the war effort. They came from all races and creeds and large cities, small towns and even rural farms. They were doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, business people, ministers of faith, fishermen, office clerks and every occupation imaginable, yet they all served and died for the cause. Most were really just boys, young men and a few women who were just starting out in like and never given the chance to prove what they could be. But when called, they answered that call.
Today they are buried in beautiful, well groomed and well known cemeteries like Normandy above, Arlington National or the many Veterans Administration facilities and even local church and community cemeteries the nation over. Some were even laid to rest at sea or buried in an unmarked grave in a foreign land when nothing more could be done at the time. Yet we honor each and every one of them. And on this day, their names are on display in those facilities for any and all to see and remember and for those not seen, they are etched in our memory. So, on this Memorial Day 2020 I hope everyone will take a moment of silence to remember what they gave up for us or maybe even go to a local ceremony for the occasion. These brave Americans all represent a moment in history when violence and tragedy surrounded them in the moments before they took their last breath. It's the least we can do to promise we'll never forget and learn from them what duty is all about.
For those who served and died in places like Trenton, Saratoga and Yorktown; Vicksburg, Richmond and Gettysburg; Verdun, Normandy, Bastogne, Italy, Guadalcanal and Midway;the Chosin Reservoir, the La Drang Valley and Khe Sahn; Iran and Afghanistan and so many more, we salute you and honor your memory. Whether you served as soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses, coasties or even carrying much needed supplies through treacherous waters as a merchant mariner, we will not forget you. Rest in peace on this, your special day. You are now at your eternal home.