That's an odd name, right? "Memorial Day." A memorial is a structure, monument, or act designed to help people remember an event. So what is the memorial? What event is being remembered?
Is the memorial cooking hamburgers and hot-dogs? Is it flags and banners? (BTW- Kudos to Whataburger- every one I saw today had their flag at half-staff) It certainly seems fairly generic, doesn't it? I mean, there are at least three secular holidays we celebrate the same way- and in Texas we've got a lot more. So that can't be the memorial, can it?
And what are we remembering? The last Memorial Day? More seriously, are we remembering every individual death incurred by members of our military?
I feel like Charlie Brown asking the meaning of Christmas. There has to be more than hot-dogs and hamburgers, more than graves and flags. So what is it?
Maybe the answer lies in what it means (or at least used to mean) to be an American. Maybe the answer is not the individual deaths, but the purpose of those deaths. Maybe the answer is this: Today we remember Martyrs. Not martyrs for any Religion- but Martyrs for Freedom. Today we remember the lives they knowingly endangered and gave up so that we, today- and every day if we choose- *could* eat hamburgers and hot-dogs. Today we remember their families and the sacrifices they made.
Today we remember that freedom is easily lost or forfeited, and requires a terrible price to redeem. I thank God that I have not had to pay that price- not myself, or anyone I love. I thank God that there are those who have, and more who continue to stand ready to make that sacrifice.
God bless you, heroes, I, for one, am not worthy of your service.