Memorial Day: May 29, 2017

Contributed by Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain

Memorial Day, a United States federal holiday, is observed each year on the last Monday in May. This day is in honor and remembrance of all men and woman who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Traditionally on Memorial Day, the flag of the United States of America is raised briskly to the top of the staff, then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position where it remains until noon. At noon, it is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

When the flag is at half-staff, the position is in remembrance of the more than one million men and women who gave their lives for their country. Raising the flag at noon signifies that the nation lives; that the country is resolved not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their honor and continue to fight for liberty and justice for all.

What is a memorial?

A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event. The most common type of memorial is the gravestone or the memorial plaque. Also common are war memorials commemorating those who have died in wars. 

What should we remember? The person’s lifestyle, personality, accomplishments and what they taught us.

We remember their great depth of knowledge. We have a responsibility to share that wisdom with others and the next generation. We have been mentored and now must mentor others. 

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2) This was Paul the Apostle, writing to his disciple, Timothy. It is also incumbent for us as Bible believers to tell others of our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus commanded us to, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the sacrifices the members of the Armed Forces have made for you and me in defense of freedom. Freedom is not free, it comes with a price. 

Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain