Memorial Day 05 31 2021
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Memorial Day is a day we set aside on a national scale for honoring and mourning the military personnel who paid the ultimate price for our nation. But we Christians also often use this day to remember those men and women who died for their faith during the past 2000 years, many suffering horrendous deaths.
And finally, it is a time for us to remember Jesus Christ who went to the cross and died so that all men and women could trust in Him and eternally have a home in heaven.
But the official purpose needs to be dealt with here. The United States military is all too often looked upon as a necessary evil. Politicians love cost cutting the military during peacetime and then blame others when our military is caught flatfooted. But the military suddenly becomes very important to our survival until the war ends, then we forget or ignore these men and women. Again!
A case in point was Vietnam. Our troops were sent there with the intent of stopping the communist north from taking over South Vietnam. Liberals attacked our involvement and spread lies and gleefully reported real atrocities that occurred over there. But their concern was not for the men and women in our uniforms. It was a costly war in which we were never defeated militarily but were defeated at home and politically.
When we came home, we weren’t celebrated with parades nor were we praised. Instead, every story of disreputable soldiers the press could find were published. Some veterans suffered from the anti-war militants.
In my case, I came home after serving in the United States Navy off Vietnam. Although I never stepped foot in Vietnam, our ship was within Vietnam waters and participated in providing naval gunfire support for our troops. When I came home, it is true I never saw a parade nor honored by my home community. But, to my knowledge, my family supported my service and honored me.
But it was a war that was fought by men and women who loved their country and who paid the ultimate price. It was a bloody war.
But Memorial Day, started during the Civil War, honors the dead of all our wars from the Revolutionary War to our wars in Iraq, Pakistan, and wherever our men and women have been called to serve. When they died, they didn’t die as Black, Red, or White Americans; they died as Americans. They didn’t die as Republicans or Democrats; they died as Americans. It doesn’t even matter if they were citizens or not, they were Americans. And they were heroes!
More about this issue on the other side of this break.
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Now back to the article.
These people died serving their country under the flag of the United States of America. And that is all that needs to be said. They were everyday heroes and didn’t even know it!
Here in Port Charlotte, Florida and in Punta Gorda, Florida there will be events to attend. While a majority of Americans only think of Memorial Day as party time, it is the wise person who takes time to remember their sacrifice. So, find one.
I am publishing this blog earlier than normal so that you can be informed about the Military Heritage Museum which will be open from Noon to 4 p.m. All areas of the museum will be open, and veterans get in free (I like free). They will also be allowing adults and youth in at half price which means $6 and $4 respectively. Children ages 4 and under are free.
At 1 p.m. there will be a Commemoration Ceremony in the Gulf Theater which will be free and open to the public. U.S. Representative Greg Steube will give a special tribute, plus there will be recitations, music, and a “moving candle lighting ceremony” with representatives from each American conflict.
If you are interested in attending, the museum it is located at 900 W. Marion Ave., in Punta Gorda. (You can also contact them for reservations at www.militaryheritagemuseum.org or call them at 941-575-9002).
Whether you attend that event or another, pause, and remember the sacrifices made. If you live in America, whether citizen or not, black, red, or white, these people died for you.
Until Jesus returns, we will always need to keep a strong military. Our enemies, both near and far, are always looking to harm us. The recent fighting in Israel illustrates the nature of that enemy. They hate the Jews and anyone who helps them! It is important to remember that our enemy doesn’t care whether you are a man, a woman, a child, or an unborn baby. Their goal, purpose, and cause are to murder and destroy.
Enjoy the day, but also take time to honor them. In the end, whether they fought at home or in some far-off land they did it for you, your children, and your grandchildren.
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