In a recent Forbes article, Marianne Bickle reminds us of the true meaning of Memorial Day. She wrote,
Memorial Day started as a holiday to remember the fallen during the Civil War. It was enacted as an honorable day of remembrance; time Civil War was the bloodiest and most deadly war experienced on our soil. Our new and fragile country was at war with itself.
Actually, America was not new. A little under 100 years old America was more like a squabbling child among the nations. Other nations probably saw Americans as a bunch of warring siblings in need of providential correction.
Americans are still divided and warring against itself. On one side are those who for the most part seek to live by the rules and on the other side are those who make up their own rule as the game of life is played out. Yes, those brats seem to be winning. The hand of Providence, however, always gets around to spankling the little darlings. (Oops! I didn’t mean that Providence actually stoops to violent acts like spanking; what I meant to say was meaningful discipline. Surely, God does spare the rod always preferring to lovingly negotiate.)
Anyway, Bickle continued by reminding us that Memorial about honoring the fallen soldiers of all wars including the cultural war, the continuing struggle for human rights, and the daily sacrifice of those who protect society.
Expanding the definition of Memorial Day, think about the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were considered traitors by some. Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman put their lives on the line to make advancements for human rights. Everyday fire fighters, police and military protect our country’s freedom and the safety of its citizens, never knowing if danger is a moment away.
There are many unsung heros whose fight for our moral freedoms and security go unnoticed. Many of them faithful serve the needy society, teach us the way of right living, counsel peace, facilitate honest prosperity, advocate true justice, stand against corruption, deception and oppression. These often nameless people have or do suffered loss, slander and persecution for their service. For example, leaders who oppose gay marriage, abortion, or the advancement of Islamic law. Some have been killed for their service. Church workers killed by drug lords in the Bronx for helping children and others overcome the problems of poverity, fear, and addictions. The sacrifice and service of these Americans deserve our remembrance as well.
Source: “The Meaning of Memorial Day,” Forbes, May 21, 2012.