I could not tell you when the focus of Memorial Day shifted from remembering our fallen heroes and those who survived and supported them in some military capacity to just a three day weekend full of hedonism for some, family time for many and R & R for others. But it has. Statistics tell us that only 7%1 of Americans will actually celebrate it for its true purpose, remembering our veterans, and up to 80%2 are not familiar with its true meaning. Do I have a dog in the fight? Yes. I come from a long line of Military Veterans that have fought in every major war since before America’s history. Does that mean I am surprised or even angered because of the statistics? No to both questions; here is why. First of all those who do celebrate it have good reason to do so. They may have lost a veteran, know someone who has or just have a deep patriotism for America. Others just see it as another holiday and there is no real driving push to see it as any other way. Morality and Ethic are the two driving factors behind all good purpose and reason. Our culture has shifted so far to the left that today’s morality no longer reflects good reasoning and purpose. When I was growing up you celebrated Memorial Day because there was a hallowedness that made it a special day. Today, for the majority, there is no hallowedness. So, although it is very sad, it does not surprise me that it has become for most just a three day weekend to start summer festivities.
Today I want to remember all the troops from time immemorial that have fought and supported the life that we have been so graciously given in the USA. War is usually the result of some narcissistic behavior of a power warlord whose desire is to oppress and suppress the masses into his control, whether on their own soil or the sovereign soil of another country. This oppressive behavior sometimes becomes so large scale (WWI—WWII) that countries that care for the plight of all humanity and the inalienable right to life and liberty will come to the rescue. That has been the role of America in every war she has fought. Some may believe we just need to live and let live—to stay out of the business of others, but scripturally speaking we are called to bear the burdens of one another. It is precisely there where morality and ethic become important. America has been blessed to be able to do just that. For that I am so thankful.
|1 62nd ADA Vulcan Cannon SP 1985 Orient Shield Japan|
I especially want to remember the troops of the A & B Batteries 1/62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Schofield Barracks HI., 1985, Cpt. Ralph Chester CO. It was our 25th Infantry Division and especially our Battery that holds a distinction of being the first American soldiers to fire live artillery on Japanese soil since 1945. Although for PR the PS & S did not point that out we knew it the truth.3 The exercise, "Orient Shield, 1985". The Gun, a Vulcan Cannon. The one who pulled the trigger, Sgt. Krass. Why were we there? To support the Japanese Ground Self-Defense forces in training against an enemy invasion. The first time Americans arrived it was for War—many were killed. The second time it was for peace. What a difference 40 years can make. I salute all of my fellow soldiers that participated in that historic event.
This Memorial Day why not take a moment to remember why you can get that grill out or why you can have that family reunion. Simply put, it’s because of a strong Faith in God and a resolve to lift up the standards borne out in Scripture—Principles of Scripture that our forefathers spilled their blood to uphold. Love for our fellow man—Love for our country—Love for our God—Love for a good way of life.
May God bless you this week end.
3. The Pacific Stars and Stripes Carried the story on pp 13-15 Nov 20, 1985.