On this Memorial Day, our collective thoughts as Americans turn to those men and women throughout the history of our nation who gave their all so that we might continue to enjoy the “blessings of liberty.” Whether those unselfish patriots laid down their lives in 1776 as a result of “the shot heard ’round the world” or perhaps more recently as our fellow citizens gave their lives half way around the world, or even here in Chattanooga last July, there is no greater act of love, sacrifice or commitment than the one they demonstrated.
Clearly on this Memorial Day, there is no more fitting act of honor or tribute than for each of us to take some quiet time to reflect on their lives, their heroism and their legacy.
As I’ve reflected about these gone but not forgotten patriots, their acts of sacrifice should cause us to feel a sense of great responsibility and accountability. Should we not then respond in some deliberate manner to acknowledge the worth of their lives and the value they placed on our country?
One life is of immeasurable worth. Exponentially though, over a million lives, sacrificed for our nation over these 240 years, demand our attention and our action. We must go beyond an annual recognition that honors our fallen heroes and make our own “sacrifices.”
While most of us will never be called to lay down our lives for our nation, surely we can lay down a TV remote, or a golf club and at least give back a few hours a month to the nation in which we have been so blessed to live. There are hundreds of ways that you and I can rise up to defend and protect our nation’s future on a daily basis but we must be intentional about doing so. As you do so though, I encourage you to share your commitment and your plans with a friend or family member and then together, step up and give back to this wonderful nation.
Finally, this day of reflection reminds me of another Truth expressed 2,000 years ago by a man whose life exemplifies love, sacrifice and commitment. This God-man we know as Jesus, left the blessings and comforts of heaven and declared this Truth:
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
But Jesus did not just speak this Truth. He too sacrificed His life for you and me, so that we could also enjoy the blessings of liberty by embracing Him and His message.
On this special day, as we remember and honor our fallen service men and women, let’s also honor the One to whom we ultimately owe the blessings of liberty: Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.