Long weekend alert!

The last Monday in May—Memorial Day—is just around the corner.

What special meaning will it have for you?

This may come as a shock, but do you know Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor and remember the men and women who have died in active military service?  It’s not a day set aside to honor Wounded Warriors, living veterans, or non-military friends and family members who have gone to their eternal reward. It’s also not in any way akin to the first Monday in September, known as Labor Day, set aside to honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the well-being of the country.

Call me overly patriotic, but I feel it’s important for Americans to take time to remember the sacrifices that bought them freedom. Sure we can, and probably should, celebrate that freedom with barbeques, special outings and the like, but let’s not get so wrapped up in the celebration that we forget the sacrifice.

Unless you’re a retailer, work in the food service industry, are a first responder, healthcare professional, policeman or other public servant (just to mention a few) you’ll probably have some extra time away from work over Memorial Day weekend.

Here are 7 ideas for making that extra time meaningful:

  • Fly the American flag at half-staff.
  • Visit a local cemetery and place flags or flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.
  • Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 pm. Pause and think about the meaning of Memorial Day.
  • Pray for God’s blessing on America. Ask for God’s protection over all branches of our military.
  • If you know someone who has lost a loved one in battle, send them a “thinking of you” card.
  • Offer to take or go with someone to the cemetery as they remember their loved one and afterward take them out for a meal.
  • Organize a way to help a military widow or widower with a household project or special need they have.

As President Ronald Reagan once said in a Memorial Day speech given at Arlington National Cemetery, “Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others…”

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13 KJV

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