We All Have Memory Loss
It seems to me that a lot of us forget what has been done for us for the sake of enjoying the benefits of the doing. We like the present, but you should have removed the price tag before you gave it to us. We enjoy our freedom, but the cost of it never enters our minds. Our arrogance and assumption that everything from government to military to mom and apple pie exist to make me happy and thus who cares what freedom costs? Just make sure it continues so I can go to the mall whenever I want and my groceries and gas are cheap.
As the World War II generation continues to go away in death, our country loses an incredible example. We are losing men who acted like heros because they were expected to. Now we have generations of men who play video games about World War II in order to feel like the hero their grandfather actually was. We are losing a generation of men who did what was right by instinct, not because they thought there might be something in it for them. As we lose them and as we look back on those we have lost in the maintenance of the freedom we enjoy in whatever conflict, we should be intentional about our memory.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:16-17 ESV)
Let your memorial of the sacrifice of these brave soldiers for our freedom be in the context of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf that we might enjoy true freedom, eternal freedom. In that gospel context, the good gift of national freedom paid for by the blood of men is a silver star, shining brilliantly as it reflects glory to God who has given us this gift to enjoy him.
Repent as You Remember
One note to our memorial day is necessary. We, in the United States have for a long time enjoyed religious freedom and taken it for granted and wasted our lives on frivolous pursuits. There are many around the world who would be thrilled with such an openness to enjoy God without fear of persecution. As you remember those who have died to bring you freedom, repent over the time you have wasted using your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh rather than using your time to glorify God for his grace and mercy and good gifts.