I thank my God every time I remember you. (Philippians 1:3)
Paul almost always includes a line like the one above somewhere toward the beginning of his letters. He does so because his faith in God is deeply connected with his memory of the people he writes to. Faith and memory run hand in hand. We too give thanks to God every time we remember the ones we love and those who have given themselves for our sake. Memorial Day stands as a tribute to this reality. We simply would not be here without the gift that so many have given, and our faith is enriched by our memories of them.
My grandfather was a navy ship captain during WWII. He captained two different ships, each of which were sunk by Japanese kamikaze pilots so named because they would dive bomb their planes directly into the side of a ship to sink her. He spent many days alone at sea hoping to be rescued. His younger brother William was killed during the same war. My Uncle David served during the Vietnam War, a brutal and confusing duty. All of them, their families, and the vast number of others out there just like them have given of themselves with the intent to keep us safe. That is why they went. That is why they did what they did. They didn't want to go. They went anyway.
It is a difficult thing trying to understand the complexities of war. War is a tough pill to swallow. Trying to justify war is even more difficult, if not impossible. I long for a day when children have to ask what the meaning of the word is. That day has not yet come. Until then, I will do my absolute best to help hasten the day of peace, and I will give thanks for those who give fully of themselves with the intent of keeping us safe. I thank God every time I remember them, and my faith is enriched because of them.
Published on 05/30/2016 @ 8:30 PM CDT