Summary: A Memorial Day Service held at our local cemetray.
LEON MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE
The ability to remember is a wonderful gift God has given us. In a flash we can be a child again, skipping rocks across a pond, or walking in a meadow. Through memory we can fall in love, get married, & enjoy our children all over again. All this is possible through the blessing of memory.
Some of our memories are happy as we recall wonderful experiences. But some are sad, & we may weep as we remember them.
Memories are also very practical. If we couldn’t remember that a red light means “stop” we’d be in trouble. If you weren’t able to remember what day it is, or your anniversary or wife’s birthday – you’d be in big trouble. So memories are practical.
The problem, though, is that sometimes memory fails us. Sometimes we forget.
Illustration: Maybe you have heard about a veteran named John who had a serious memory problem. One day John ran into an old Army friend he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him & said, “Bill, do you remember what a bad memory I had?”
Bill answered, “Yes, I certainly do.” “Well, it’s not bad any more. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was great, & now I have a wonderful memory.”
Bill answered, “That’s great! What was the name of the seminar?” “Well,” John said, “wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her.” He turned & saw his wife nearby.
Then he turned back to Bill & said, “What’s the name of that flower with a long stem & thorns & a red bloom?” “Do you mean a rose?” Bill answered. “Yeah, thanks,” John said. “Hey, Rose, what’s the name of that seminar we attended?”
- There are events that we should never forget. And Memorial Day commemorates some of them.
This special day started near the end of the Civil War. And within a few years the practice of placing flowers on military graves had spread throughout both the north & south & was being called by almost everyone, “Decoration Day.”
Then, after WW1 it became a national holiday dedicated to remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy. And it is also a day upon which we remember our loved ones who have gone on before.
But people tend to be forgetful, & we seem to need help to jog our memories.
In the Bible we find that God has given us some reminders as well.
A. After God destroyed the earth in a flood, He told Noah, “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
Then God stated, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, & it will be the sign of the covenant between me & the earth.” (Genesis 9:13)
So every time we see a rainbow, it serves as a reminder of God’s promise.
B. Today as we look out among the grave sites, we see decorations of Red, White, and Blue. We see a multitude of colors with flowers that have been placed for our fallen heros.
Today, we too have set some reminders as we remember our soldiers through our decorations. Just as God sends us colorful rainbows as a reminder, we send out our reminder as well. A reminder to all that our soldiers matter!
Their sacrifices matter! Their service matter! Today, let us not dwell on the loss of life, let us be reminded of the lives gained through their sacrifices.
Soldiers often go without water, food, sleep, medical treatment, seeing their family, not to mention other unimaginable hardships. Sacrifice is the major hardship for the soldier.
And it is because of the soldiers sacrifices that we live the lives we do today.
The hardship of being a soldier is un-comprehendible unless you’ve served yourself. For me to stand here before you this afternoon and try to paint the picture for you will never truly bring it to life.
This is a truth that many of us seem to forget or really don’t understand in the first place.
Illustration: I have known many recruiters in my life. Very few of them were totally honest to say the least. If you were to ask one of them if they ever lied to their potential recruits, they would tell you “of course not, I just didn’t tell them everything.” Many recruiters I knew would somehow forget to mention the hardships that comes with such a glorious high paying job of being a soldier.
If you were to ask the mass majority of soldiers today that are actively serving if they knew totally all the hardships that came with serving? They would probably answer “nope, not even close.”