For this Constitution Monday, it is fitting that we honor those who died protecting and preserving our Constitution and American way of life. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a day when Americans honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. This day of commemoration began as Decoration Day, and it originated in the years following the Civil War. In 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday in May.
Many Americans consider this a somber day and observe it “by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.” A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time on each Memorial Day. For other Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and is nothing more than another holiday.
I found a post on Facebook by Jason Wright that I have been pondering for several hours, so I decided to share his comparison of Christmas and Memorial Day with my readers. His words deserve thought and consideration by all Americans.
Christmas is the day we honor the One. The One who was born for us, served us, led us, lived for us, died for us.
God gave all.
And yet for many of us, it’s a day we race toward and celebrate like a limited-time only event. Then the next day, we wrap up this holy holiday and stick it on a shelf until next Christmas. This sacred season becomes just a memory….
Memorial Day is the day we honor those who were born for us, served us, led us, lived for us, died for us.
These heroes gave all.
And yet for many of us, it’s a day we race toward and celebrate as if we’re being chased by the calendar. We fire up the grill, float around the lake, and hop in the pool.
Then on Tuesday, we pack this holiday back in a box until next spring. This sacred season becomes just a memory.
Wright continued his comparison by stating the obvious – we should consider Christmas differently. We should think about the Savior’s birth as well as his life, teachings, and atoning sacrifice. If we truly worship Jesus Christ, we should treat other people as He would treat them. We should minister to the poor and the afflicted. We should show love one for another.
Even though our military heroes cannot compare to Jesus Christ, but our consideration of their lives and their sacrifices can be compared. If we deeply appreciate their sacrifices in our behalf, we should live differently. We should think of them every single day. We should remember their bravery, sacrifice, lessons, and legacies. We should show our appreciation for their sacrifices in our treatment of our country, our flag, and our fellow Americans. Wright stated that "our sacred cemeteries don’t just hold caskets, this holy ground is full of courage, selflessness, and an astounding love of country.”
My desire is that all Americans will consider the sacrifices of the million men and women who gave their lives for our benefit. I am grateful for my many neighbors who are flying the flag of our great country in commemoration of those sacrifices. Just as Christmas is much more than a day to receive gifts and party, Memorial Day is much more than a holiday to go camping or fishing.