Monday, May 30, 2022


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The trends today among so-called progressives are to cancel anything and everything we disagree with or don't wish to remember, but both history and the Bible clearly teach the importance of remembering and memorializing.

Today is Memorial Day---and it's about more than the hoped-for-first-day-of-summer for those of us who live here in the Northwest.

Remembering defines who we are, and what we can become. 

And it can help avoid remaking past mistakes. 

Be informed, not misled.

A few years ago a group of middle school kids was taking a tour of Washington DC over the Memorial Day weekend. The tour guide asked if they knew what "Memorial Day" meant. One kid quickly raised his hand and said, "It's the day the public pool opens in our town."

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

In more recent years, Memorial Day has also come to be a time to remember family and loved ones who have passed. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Memorial Day in America can be traced back to the end of the Civil War in 1868, a war in which over a half-million died.

Southern women scattered spring flowers on graves of both northern Union and southern Confederate soldiers.

Many places claimed to have held the original Memorial Day, such as Warrenton, Virginia; Columbus, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania; and Waterloo, New York. In any case, it was born out of a heart of gratitude.

In 1968, one hundred years after the first observance, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May.

In 2000, Congress passed The National Moment of Remembrance Act (Public Law 106-579), whereby on each Memorial Day, at 3:00pm, citizens should pause for a moment of prayer:

"Congress finds that ... it is essential to remember and renew the legacy of Memorial Day ... to pay tribute to individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States ...

The following is drawn primarily from the research of Bill Federer, and my own personal research for sermons and speeches I've given over the years.

It's "essential" to remember.

In 1868 John Logan, commander of the Civil War veterans' organization "The Grand Army of the Republic," called for a "Decoration Day" to be observed annually on May 30.

In 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France during World War I buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.

Since that time, as you know, it has been the tradition of our president to lay a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier.

On Memorial Day 1923, President Calvin Coolidge said: 

"There can be no peace with the forces of evil, Peace comes only through the establishment of the supremacy of the forces of good. That way lies through sacrifice...quoting Jesus, he continued, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend'."

Memorials are important in Scripture. 

The Lord told Moses in Exodus 12: "Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel ...In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house ... Your lamb shall be without blemish ... And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day ... and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses ... For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and ... execute judgment ... and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you ...

And this day shall be unto you for a Memorial ... throughout your generations ... an ordinance forever."

Memorial is mentioned in Joshua, chapter 4: 

"When all the people were clean passed over Jordan ... Joshua called the twelve men ... out of every tribe ...And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder ...That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan ... and these stones shall be for a MEMORIAL unto the children of Israel forever."

MacArthur to the next generation of soldiers.

Speaking to the cadets at West Point in May of 1962, General Douglas said: 

"The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training---sacrifice.'

Continuing, he said, "In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image...No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him."

He concluded, "However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind,"

A time to remember.

Can we find time in our busy schedule today to remember? 

Perhaps 3 PM this afternoon would be a good time to take a moment and remember how God has blessed America---and remember those who have given their lives to defend those God-given freedoms.

And ask God to forgive our sins, as we humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways---and to heal our land, that so many have given so much to protect.

As the nation celebrates Memorial Day, more than a third of Americans will remember someone close to them who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Rasmussen Survey found this year that 47% of American adults consider Memorial Day to be one of our nation's most important holidays. Only 7% feel it is not very important, and the rest see it as a "somewhat" important.

Be Informed. Be Reminded. Be Thankful. Be Prayerful.