Holidays that commemorate the sacrificial service of our men and women in the armed forces take on a sobering perspective when your own child ships out for basic training. Last week, our family bid our fourth son goodbye to Naval Station Great Lakes, Chicago.
For American families – and especially military families – the Memorial Day holiday takes on a much greater significance than merely ushering in summer. Rather, this Monday is a day of reflection, humility and gratitude for those who laid down their lives so that we could live ours in continued freedom.
As Christians, we know our nation’s servicemen and women engage enemies in faraway fields for more than protection here at home. They also advance the idea of America—the conviction that mankind yearns for the God-given liberty rooted in justice for all—into a world desperately in need of liberty’s light. Our forces carry that banner forward, giving hope to the poor, the oppressed and the faithful worldwide.
For over two centuries now, families have given their sons and daughters to the service of our nation, knowing well the dangers ahead and covering them in prayers for a quick end to their missions and safe return.
Yet, with the acceleration of technology and an ever-present global media, it can be easy to grow complacent in thinking that wars are fought from computer consoles, with hyper precision and minimal casualties—until we see flag-draped coffins returning home. Those caskets hold heroes to whom we owe the remembrance of Memorial Day from now until our Lord’s return.
As a father with one son presently serving and two having already served, it can be exasperating to see the lack of respect, gratitude and, at times, antagonism for our military—from those who benefit from the blessings of being Americans, without comprehending the toll others endure to secure those blessings.
And I know I am not alone.
That’s why it’s so comforting to know that our Father in Heaven understands this first hand. He is not distant and unrelatable. He knows intimately the experience of the greatest Memorial Day – Good Friday – when He too gave His Son. That Son—our Savior—willingly gave His life that we might have the greatest liberty. And because of that we, the people, who know their God, shall stand firm and take action (Dan. 11:32) – against evil that pervades, both at home and abroad.
This weekend, my family will proudly celebrate our servicemembers’ commitment to stand for liberty—to stand for America. We will pray for their safety, success and their safe return home after their duty is complete. And we will pray for the families of those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.
To those families who courageously prepared their children for service and who have or will experience the gut-wrenching call of them not coming home… a “thank you” will never fill that hole. But Family Policy Alliance and our allies across the nation express our gratitude and will always stand and act for those who lived and died for no greater love.
With deep gratitude,
President & CEO