I realize it may be a week away, but what are your plans for Memorial Day?
Growing up the in suburbs of Philadelphia, Memorial Day meant several things: school is out, we're going "down the shore" (Ocean City, NJ), the Phillies game would be on, and it was a great day to have barbeques or parties with friends.
I knew that it was an American holiday to remember and respect the lives that were sacrificed for my freedom, but I didn't neccessarily know why.
That (lack of knowledge) has changed.
Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) was observed for the first time, officially, on May 30, 1868. At that time, the leader of the organization for Northern Civil War veterans, John A. Logan, called for a national rememberance of the lives lost for the freedom of our Union.
This day was originally reserved to keep the lost Civil War veterans memorialized and remembered in our country. Now, however, it represents the lives lost in any battle for American freedom.
I cannot imagine the sacrifice that these individuals and families have given. None of the veterans in my family have lost their lives for freedom's sake. However, as I ponder the gift we as a nation have been given, I cannot help but remember the verse in the Christian New Testament, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
So, I invite you to join me in celebrating this Memorial Day. Celebrate our freedom, and the joy of having friends, parties, barbeques, and parades, of course. But don't forget the day's original purpose.
As for me, since relocating to Greenville I will take part in festivities locally. I plan to spend time with family, see the action at Gallabrae, cook a few dogs, and maybe head to the beach.
Enjoy your Memorial Day this week! I know I'll enjoy mine.