May 24, 2018
By The Rev. Dr. David L. Bridges
Memorial Day is most often remembered as the beginning of the Summer recreational season and a day of boating, camping, cooking-out, and partying. But the real purpose of Memorial Day is to remember the persons that have died while actively serving in the United States Armed Forces.
This is an especially important holiday. My son, Jonathan Bridges, served in the Army in Southeastern Afghanistan. He came home 80% disabled after jumping off a cliff to get away from an enemy grenade. He can tell you that no one joins the military hoping to make a lot of money. When he joined the Army, we were already deeply involved in the second Gulf War. I asked him if he was sure about his decision, since he would most definitely be sent to the “sand box”.
He replied, “I know, but I also know this is something I need to do”. Why did he “need” to do this? Like millions of others before him, Jonathan understood the necessity of defending our Nation and defending helpless victims of terrorism wherever it lurks. He did what he was trained to do, then he was severely injured. I never heard him regret his decision to join the military during war time, although he continues to struggle with the wounds of war in his own body.
Had it not been for the millions of dedicated soldiers that have served this great Country over the centuries, we would likely not have the freedoms we enjoy today. Imagine not having the freedom to come and go as we like. Imagine not having the freedom of speech. Imagine not having the freedom of religion. Imagine what the world may have become, if the United States Armed Forces had not stepped-in to destroy dictatorships and terror groups that threatened our freedoms and the freedoms of other nations. When we are living the good life of free people this Memorial Day, we must take time to remember those men and women who have died while in military service to this great Nation.
The words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome seem very fitting here: “Let love be genuine; hate what is bad, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9, 10) Now there is an idea; let’s try to outdo one another in showing honor to those that gave their lives so that we can enjoy our freedom. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Blessing and Peace to You All,
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