It’s Memorial Day…What Do You Say?
The other day at the VA I saw a Young veteran who is obviously from the current war wearing a T-shirt that says, “Don’t thank me for my service — thank my brother who didn’t come back.”
It reminded me of something Chuck Coffan once said. Chuck is a WWII Navy Veteran and was involved in nine battles. He said, “I’m not a hero — the heroes are the ones who didn’t come back.”
It seems to me that many people in our country today have lost sight of the fact that we are still at war in Afghanistan and military personnel are actively serving in war zones around the world.
The veterans and their families are all too aware that we are at war. They know risk and sacrifice, loneliness and hardship.
For many people, Memorial Day is just a day off from work or school, but it was meant to be much more than that. It was established as a day to remember those who have fallen.
The other message implied in the young veterans t-shirt pointed to the brotherhood and camaraderie among those who serve. There is room in Memorial Day for both. We can enjoy barbecues and family and friends and we can spend part of our day remembering the men and women lost in war and their families who have to live on without them.
Last year, Pastor Stephen Giles told us what he did with the red carnation he had received in appreciation of his service on Sunday. After church he went out to the cemetery and looked among the headstones for the grave of a veteran that showed no signs of recent care and laid his flower on it.
That simple act inspired me to go out and do the same.
I respectfully submit that both those who have given their lives in battles for freedom and those who survived and returned home to this land are to be remembered, respected and loved.
Will you take a flower or at least a moment? What do you say?
For more information about our veteran ministry, call Mt. Moriah Ministries at (518) 426-4510.