Summary: A Memorial Day Sermon. We should be building memorials before God in prayer and service.
Sunday, May 30, 2010 – AM
By Pastor James May
The USS New York was built with steel from the rubble of the World Trade Center after the attacks on 9/11/2001. It was launched in November of 2009. 7 1/2 tons of twisted and mangled steel from ground zero had been melted down to form the bow of the new ship as “a symbol of our unshakable resolve”. The ship cost $1 billion to build and will carry 360 sailors and 700 combat ready marines.
The USS New York was built at the shipyards in New Orleans by a lot of workers who had lost homes and businesses because of Hurricane Katrina. They had to rebuild their lives and their homes at the same time as they built the ship.
Two more ships like the USS New York are under construction as well; the USS Arlington, built to memorialize the attack on the Pentagon, and the USS Somerset, named after the Pennsylvania county where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.
The vast majority of memorials that man builds and creates are somehow connected with wars and the price that Americans have paid for the freedoms that we all enjoy.
The Minuteman Statue found on the Lexington Green in Massachusetts marks the first major encounter of American militia, made of farmers, shopkeepers and citizen soldiers, who fought and defeated nearly 1000 soldiers of the super power of the day, King George’s redcoats of the British Army. This marked the birth of a nation that would be established on equal rights for every man.
But equal rights was harder to come by for some Americans. Black people were never given equality until President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The memorials shown here are from the Battle of Gettysburg where 51,000 men died in three days trying to determine whether all men were truly going to be equal.
The newest, and perhaps the largest memorial in our nation is the National World War II memorial that is divided into Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Only the Atlantic side is shown here. The memorial marks the sacrifices of millions of Americans who are called ‘The Greatest Generation” because they fought and conquered aggression around the world and paid a heavy price for our freedom. Many of you here lived in that time and you know that no memorial could truly honor the many who gave their lives. When you look at national cemeteries, with thousands upon thousands of white grave markers in perfect alignment, almost as far as you can see, you are truly moved by the sacrifice in lives that it has cost for us to be here today and those fallen heroes deserve all of the honor that we can give to them.
Just a few years later we were caught up in another conflict called the Korean War and a new memorial has been built to honor those who fought there as well. It depicts a squad of infantry soldiers as they are walking through the fields on patrol.
For 10 years there was a war that America should never have fought, and would love to forget ever happened, but because millions of soldiers served there and over 58,000 died, it cannot be erased from our history. The Vietnam Wall was built to honor those who fought and died in the most unpopular war in American history.