Summary: Memorial Day
TAKING TIME TO REMEMBER
We set aside time in America each year to remember some of the important dates of our history. This didn’t start with us, it is a practice that goes back as far as the Bible.
Here we see that God instructs the Jews to have a feast every year to remember His great works He did in Egypt.
Memorial day started many years ago and there are two main versions of how it got started.
1) 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.
2) 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.
We set this day aside as a Memorial to remember and honor those who have given their lives in the service of this country. We have freedom today because of brave soldiers who didn’t mind dying for a Country they loved.
We also as Christians have a heritage today of millions who have gone on before us and given their life for the spreading of the Gospel. Today because of the grace of God we have freedom to serve our Lord in this Nation. This too can be lost if taken for granted.
If you are free from sin today it’s because a Man named Jesus became one of us and gave His life so we could have ours spared. If you are saved today you owe it to your Lord to give Him glory and praise for what He did for you. Don’t take for granted the great salvation you have today!
Illus: In the Revolutionary War 33,000 soldiers died; in the War of 1812 7,000 soldiers died; in the Mexican War 13,000 perished; during the Civil War 980,000 men died; in the Spanish-American War 4,000 died; in World War I 320,000 U.S. soldiers gave their lives; in World War II 1,078,000 died; in the Korean War 157,000 soldiers perished; during the Vietnam War 111,000 of our men died; in the Gulf War there were 700; and in the War in Iraq there have been nearly 600 deaths. A total of these figures reveals that there have been an estimated 2,704,300 U.S. soldiers who have died over the past two centuries fighting for our country’s freedom, and this is the reason that they died – for “our” freedom. Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”