This weekend we remember those who have passed, particularly those who served our country to preserve liberty and freedom.
We also thank those who presently serve our country.
Those who were born about, or perhaps prior to the time of World War II sometimes wonder if this generation---the teenagers, really appreciate or understand the enormous price that was paid in preserving our freedom.
And how blessed we are to be Americans.
Looking back to June 6, 1944, then looking at a high school in South Carolina last week gives reason for hope.
On June 5, 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced to America by way of radio that allied troops had entered Rome, and that Rome had been liberated quickly.
That positive news was soon superseded by news that the gigantic D-Day invasion had begun at 6:30 AM on June 6, 1944. By midnight, about 57,000 American and 75,000 British and Canadian soldiers had made it ashore. However, 2,500 had been killed and 8,500 had been wounded.
The world was at war.
How FDR responded, many believe, determined the out come of the "great war."
More on FDR in a moment.
Last week, Peyton Robinson, an 18 year old high school kid in South Carolina, decided to install an American flag in the back of his truck---we used to call them pick-ups.
When he pulled into the school parking lot, Old Glory was waving in the breeze. However, school administrators were not so patriotic. They immediately approached Peyton and told him he couldn't have an American flag in the back of his truck.
Why? he asked.
"Well," the educators replied, "it is a distraction and could cause an accident, and someone might get hurt." "And its against our policy."
Local police, however, said "no," there are no laws prohibiting American flags from being installed in the back of a pick-up.
Peyton told the school there was no problem. It was legal.
The school then confessed they were also concerned someone might be offended.
Peyton said he would understand if someone was offended by a Confederate flag or something, but could not believe anyone living in America would be offended at the sight of the American flag.
He said he loves the flag and the country for which it stands. "I was just being patriot," he said.
He was told to remove the flag, don't bring it back to school tomorrow.
When he left class that afternoon, he found that administrators had unscrewed the bolts and removed his flag, laying it in the bed of his truck.
He went on Facebook that evening and explained what had happened, and promised he was going to put the flag back in his truck tomorrow.
As he drove toward the school the next morning, flag waving in the breeze, he was stunned.
Cars and trucks everywhere had American flags attached to them---parents, kids, truck drivers, motorcycles---you name it. Big flags and little flags---flags were everywhere.
The school district, attempting to save face, then went on Facebook themselves and posted this: "Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy" followed by a lengthy review of all the things they do that are patriotic.
That's called leading from behind.
I am personally very optimistic about this generation of teenagers. They are weighing secular progressivism in the scales---and they are finding that ideology to be wanting.
Many of today's teenagers, I believe, see the hypocrisy of today's secular progressive movement and are refocusing on what is real.
FDR did what Americans have traditionally done in time of crises. He turned to God Almighty.
While it would be difficult to imagine current Democratic leadership doing such a thing, FDR again went on national radio, live, and gave the following prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944
On this Memorial Day, remember, be grateful, be prayerful and be hopeful. Things are going to get better.