Today is Memorial Day in the USA. For many, it is simply a day off, the start of the summer vacation season, or a day to start on the long-awaited garden. But for me, this “holiday” took on a whole new meaning three years ago. Memorial Day 2010 was a time to say goodbye to our son before he left for Afghanistan where he would be serving with the Army for a year. That year was marked with an acute sense of awareness of the ultimate price he may have to pay in service to his country. As a believer, I knew his eternity was secure in the hands of the Sovereign Savior, but I was also keenly aware of the many men and women who did not have this great hope—and yet they were willing to sacrifice their lives anyway. During those months while he was away, each combat death reported in the news became very personal, “That could have been my son…That was someone’s son.” I became increasingly moved, grieved, and grateful as I came to grips with the gravity of those who had given so much…and who, unfortunately, are often forgotten.
So on this Memorial Day, consider spending some time with your children teaching them how, as Christians and citizens, we might appropriately honor and respect those who have served and given their lives for our country. I have found the following two articles by Pastor Kevin DeYoung to be especially helpful in this regard: