Summary: The price of Freedom is high and worth it
INTRO: We celebrate Memorial Day Decoration Day.
1. Begin with 2 versions of how Memorial Day came to be
a. The first story In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi after decorating the graves of her two sons who served during the Civil War as Confederate soldiers, an elderly woman also decorated two mounds at the corner of the cemetery. An observer asked, “What are you doing? Those are the graves of two Union soldiers.” Her reply was, “I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours.” [This lady and a few others] set in motion what became known as Memorial Day.
b. The other version of the story says:
The custom of placing flowers on the graves of the war began on May 5, 1866 in Waterloo, New York, and Waterloo has been recognized by Congress as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1868, General John A. Logan, then president of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared that May 30 would be a day to “decorate with flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” After World War I the day was set aside to honor all of the American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian.
2. Memorial Day we are to remember lost loved ones, & lost
service men & women who died in the numerous wars of our country
3. I want us to reflect upon the reason why many of our
people paid the ultimate price with their lives
a. They died because they were fighting for our freedom.
4. Remember Freedom
I. A Special Day Exodus 12:14a, 13:3a
A. Moses told all of the people of Israel that “this day shall
be to you a memorial,” & “you shall keep it,” & “remember this day”
1. What day was Moses referring to that the Israelites were
supposed to remember?
a. Passover: Remember that miraculous night!!
1. The night of the Passover was when the Israelites were
commanded to kill a lamb and spread its blood on the two door
posts and lintel of their homes (Exodus 12:3, 7),
2. That night the Lord sent a plague throughout the land of Egypt,
& whomever had their doors marked by the blood of the lamb,
death passed over them – thus the name Passover (Ex 12:13)
b. Symbolically, this represented our salvation from
spiritual death by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
1. The Egyptians did not have their door posts marked, so the
firstborn of the Egyptians were struck dead (Exodus 12:12).
2. The next morning, the Pharaoh was so tired of striving with the
Lord that he allowed the Israelites to depart from Egypt Ex 12:31
2. The Passover represented their freedom from slavery,
a. This is what Moses commanded the people to
remember – the day of their freedom.
B. I want us to take a few moments to reflect upon our
1. The official day of our freedom was on July 4, 1776
a. Signing of the Declaration of Independence sending it
to England to be read by King George III.
1. Even though the 13 colonies declared freedom as an
independent country, the people were not yet free.
2. There was war to be fought & many lives to be paid as the cost
b. Many wars fought since & lives paid kept us Free
2. Reflect upon the estimated casualties that have come from
our country’s fight for freedom over the past 2 centuries:
a. Americans have sacrificed their lives Check for accuracy
1. Revolutionary War 33,000 War of 1812 ,000 died;
2. Mexican War 13,000 perished; Civil War ,000 died;
3. Spanish-American War ,000 died; in World War I ,000
U.S. soldiers died
4. World War II ,000 died; Korean War ,000
5. Vietnam War ,000; Gulf War ;
6. The current Afghanistan & Iraq war 823 deaths as of today
*7. Did not count countless hostile actions & skirmishes such as
the hostage rescue attempt in 1979, Lebanon, Panama
b. A total estimated 2,904,300 U.S. service men & women
have died over the past 2 centuries fighting for our
c. This is the reason that they died – for “our” freedom.
II. Freedom is worth the price
A. Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
1. It is true than many of these men & women died out of a
sense of duty to their country,
a. But obviously they also died out of their love for their