What evokes Independence Day patriotism better than fireworks?
Every time I have opportunity to experience good old fourth-of-July fireworks, two lines from our beloved national anthem come into brilliant focus:
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
I usually view fireworks from the protective security of sitting on the trunk of a car parked a few blocks away. Continue reading
Victory—I love that word. And I love success, accomplishment, and achievement.
The only problem with experiencing these words—at least in a truly heroic endeavor—is that it takes so long to attain. We want success today. We want achievement now. We want victory without sacrifice and accomplishment without effort.
All of us would thrill to return to a hero’s welcome. But few of us are willing to fight in the trenches and to endure the grueling days of a soldier’s life. Continue reading
I actually have an excellent memory. I have mental snapshots from the family vacation we took when I was two. And I remember the “Winkie Bear” who told stories in my four-year-old class. I remember the name of every Sunday school teacher I had from kindergarten on. I even remember random dates—like the date I made my first pie crust (an utter failure!).
But I don’t remember these things every day. In fact, most of them I only remember when I’m trying to.
This is why Memorial Day is special. It helps us pause to trigger our memories—to purposefully stop and be thankful for the sacrifices made for our freedom. In my own family, I have a grandpa, two uncles, and a cousin who have served or are serving in the military. I’m so thankful for the freedom they have preserved for me. I’d like to say that I gratefully remember their sacrifices every day, but I can honestly say that I have thought of their sacrifices many times today. That’s the blessing of Memorial Day.
If Memorial Day is so helpful for patriotic memories, perhaps we would be wise to establish trigger points for other important memories as well. What reminds you to thank the Lord for your salvation? To count your blessings? What reminds you of the answers to prayer God has given in the past? Of His miraculous dealings in your life?
If I was asked to describe any one of those areas, I could recall the stories easily. You probably could too. Perhaps we need more memorial days—or at least more memorial points. Let’s pause to remember!