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How to have a REAL Memorial Day

Monday, May 25, 2009, 11:38 am |

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 NIV

This weekend, I went to the grocery store. The checker, who seemed to be in her early 30s, asked if I had any plans for fun over the holiday weekend. I said I was working harder at remembering the reason for the holiday, which was to appreciate the sacrifice of those who laid down their lives so we could have freedom. I asked her if Hitler were waging war in Europe today, would America’s young men have the moral fiber to join the army to go against him? “Oh, no,” she exclaimed, “they wouldn’t.” As she stood there realizing that America wasn’t all she had hoped for, I put words to what we were both thinking. “America hasn’t ‘changed,’” I said, “it’s deteriorated.” It must have been an unusually serious discussion for her because she mistakenly undercharged me by more than $30. (After later discovering the error, I returned to the store and made it right).

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to ponder the real reason for the day, to remember those who died for you, and to consider what lessons you can learn from it. For one, freedom is not free. Those who died for you and me gave us freedom unmatched by many nations. If they could see us now, these fighting men would either be proud or embarrassed by our behavior. Many in America have used their hard-won freedom for good. Yet many others have used freedom to squander their lives away or to bring evil upon America from within.

Let appreciation fill your heart by viewing photos of U.S. military cemeteries around the world

Read the riveting account  of the World War II battle of Tarawa in 1943, as told by the late Gil Ferguson, who, at age 19, survived the battle, and later served 10 years for pro-family, conservative values in the California Assembly. Tarawa was the first major American offensive in the Pacific. Victory here came at the price of 3,000 dead or wounded U.S. Marines. Consider reading it aloud to family and friends to help you have a REAL Memorial Day.


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