By Pastor Bill Smith
Trinity Chapel Little Falls
It is an honor this Memorial Day weekend to salute our active service members as well as our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country. Our wounded warriors, many of whom will carry the wounds for a lifetime — whether the wound is physical or emotional — have our deepest respect with a heartfelt thank you. We honor those who spilled their life blood to make America what she is today — free, strong and still a nation worth fighting for.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. It traces its roots back to 1868, when Gen. John Logan, of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared May 30 as a day of remembrance. Flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The day was originally called “Decoration Day.” It is sometimes called “Poppy Day” because artificial red poppies, which were made by disabled veterans, are sold. The money is used to benefit servicemen in need. In December 2000, Congress passed a resolution which asks all Americans “to voluntarily and informally observe a Moment of Remembrance and respect,” at 3 p.m. local time.
Again, on Memorial Day 2012, we honor those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for American — their life blood.
It is a sobering fact when we understand that today every loyal American is, in fact, an active service person and must diligently be on the alert because the enemy has infiltrated our land and it is our time to fight for the country we love. We must be “on active duty” and learn the strategies of our enemies, whether the enemy is a terrorist from our own country or another land, whether he is a politician trying to regulate our freedoms away, millionaires financing revolt, or an activist — overt or covert — who destroys our peace. It could be a publisher who will distort the truth, or even a teacher who is capable of molding young minds into something other than a responsible, steadfast American citizen faithful to the tenets of our founding fathers.
We must remember that an enemy will often conceal himself in public. In other words, he will infiltrate and “dress in the uniform” so that he will not be recognized for what he truly is — an enemy.
All the heroic acts on battlefields throughout history have made out country what it is today. We enjoy freedom and wealth that are unequaled. But our freedom and our luxuries have come at a great price — and the fight continues.
Irving Berlin so beautifully expressed our sentiments:
“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”
“God Bless America,
Land that I Love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God Bless America, My home sweet home.”
God Bless America. Amen.