I was pondering this afternoon about what Memorial Day means to me. For a lot of folks, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are essentially indiscernible…even redundant. But Memorial Day is not just about service, it is about ultimate sacrifice; remembering those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country.
On this weekend, we celebrate the reality that every good thing we enjoy about America came at a high price. A high price for soldiers and for the families of soldiers. A price paid by those who did not come back from armed conflicts and those who did not come back the same.
Taking time to remember their sacrifice on Monday is the kind of discipline that makes us grateful rather than entitled and humble rather than arrogant. Such remembering matures us, deepens us, contextualizes our current reality and invites us into something larger than ourselves.
I hope you will join me in taking a moment this weekend to take off your hat, pause, offer a prayer, remember and say thank you to God for the men and women who gave all.
Tell your children and your grandchildren about bravery, sacrifice and loyalty. Let them know this is far bigger than a cookout, baseball memories or a family swim.
What we remember on Memorial Day is simply too important to forget. Freedom isn’t free and it doesn’t cost everyone the same price.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997