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Growing up in the 1950’s-60’s, every year, my mom would drag us out to the cemetery to pay our respects to relatives who had died. It was called “Decoration Day” for us and we knew it was going to be one of those days we had to tolerate. Get all dressed up in church clothes, go walk around acres of grass with some cement slabs laying around, and for goodness sakes, NEVER...EVER…step on a grave! No talking! Be very quiet and just observe adults walking around bringing their flowers, flags, and photos to decorate the graves of their loved ones who had passed on. I remember sitting in the solitude of the moment, listening to birds singing, while adults gathered in small groups, whispering to each other recalling sweet memories of days past.
I didn’t appreciate it then and somehow missed the reason for this holiday, later to be known and observed as “Memorial Day”. It was in school that I learned it is our responsibility and privilege to recognize service men and women who have given their very lives so that we could live in a free land. Some came back from wars, broken and beaten. Others returning disabled for life. But, many brave soldiers never came back. They died on the field, far from home, never to return to their loved ones…to their homeland…a life of freedom that they so valiantly and selflessly gave their life for.
Let us not forget to recognize and give thanks, not just this week, but every day for those who have given their lives for others to live in the “Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave”!
Heavenly Father, we pray for Your continued Grace over the United States of America. Let not the efforts of brave men and women be in vain, who have fought for our country, to protect our freedoms that we take for granted. We pray for a tremendous outpouring of blessings over them and their families. In Jesus Name...Amen