me•mo•ri•al: serving to preserve remembrance
Last Thursday the 21st I was honored to speak to a group gathered at Chemeteka Community College to honor US Veterans. The event was coordinated by the Veterans Service Center at CCC. I was especially moved when I comprehended the perseverance of our Veterans who have served our country and now decide to return to school to further their skills in hopes of finding permanent, productive employment.
As we continue to enjoy this long weekend, let’s not forget how this holiday originated. Here are the sentiments I shared on Thursday:
MEMORIAL DAY originated after the Civil War, as Dedication Day to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the CIVIL War. Today we call it Memorial Day, remembering the men and women who died while serving our great country. 152 years ago on November 19th, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address at Gettysburg, and it is as relevant to us here today as it was then.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
I ask you to join me in a prayer to celebrate the sacrifices made for us, that allows us to be here today.
Dear Heavenly Father, we are gathered here this day to honor and show our gratitude for the men and women who have given their lives for the defense of our freedoms and liberties, they have followed in the footsteps of your son Jesus Christ. No greater sacrifice can a person make, but to lay down their life for another.
We ask that you would bless the men and women who are serving today and we lift up their families. Gently remind us to lift a hand, share a thank you, or just spend time with those who need our individual love and service.
And Lord we ask that you would help us extend the grace and mercy you have freely given to each one of us here, to those who may be experiencing a personal conflict. Help us to see every human being as a unique gift from you.
In the name of Jesus, we ask for your peace on us and those we honor this day. AMEN
May 25, 2015