Forget June 21, we all know the real first day of summer is Memorial Day. The sales, cookouts, beaches and pools; I'm glad that I took the time to attend a Memorial Day service today. You know, men and women in their uniforms, formal presentation of the flag, patriotic songs, and speeches.
I always have this compelling urge to actually observe a holiday for what it was meant, not just a day off or time to do what I want to do, but when it comes to Memorial Day, I've been a bit ambivalent in the past. I struggle with military ideas and war. I'm somewhat of a pacifist especially in regards to certain recent American endeavors. How do I honor those who represent something that I do not honor?
"Greater love has no one than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) There is the answer. Do they really represent something that I do not honor? I don't think so. The men and women we honor on this day would consider me their friend, they have laid down their life for me. I may not have asked for it, and I may not approve of it, but they have considered me more valuable than themselves. They have served me by giving of themselves in life and in death. I will not be critical of men and women who choose to forgo their own plans, safety, and comfort in the service of others. On this day and all others I will choose to respect and honor those who give themselves through service to their nation.
God bless us all.