I wanted a Memorial Day Listen to Life message that addressed the reality of Memorial Day’s meaning. Shortly after I knelt at church, the answer arrived. On my cell phone.
Three messages arrived in quick succession. I felt the phone’s vibration, since it was sent on silent mode, and went outside to check. Three quick messages or three quick calls is how my sons know to signal me that they need my attention now, so I went to check. There was no emergency in the message, but there was wisdom.
My middle son’s text message said, “… as we were parting ways, the sales person said, ‘I hope you have a happy Memorial Day weekend.’ It struck me hard this time … it’s not a happy time. It’s not a great weekend for selling mattresses. It’s not a great weekend to get great discounts on outdoor furniture. This weekend is meant for us to remember those that gave up everything, so we can have everything.”
His words settled in as I thought about this video that I watched last year that revealed the embarrassing ignorance of people regarding the purpose and meaning of Memorial Day. (Please watch to the end.) What could be an appropriate greeting to share on Memorial Day that would honor those for whom it has a close, personal meaning, and cause others to consider its meaning? (I would argue that it should have a close, personal meeting to everyone in the United States.)
“Have a peace-full Memorial Day.” There it is.
I wish for peace for those we have lost. May they have moved from the horrors of war or the challenges of service to the eternal peace that is their due.
I wish for peace in the hearts of family and friends of the military members that we have lost. Nothing can fill the void or remove the pain, but perhaps peace in their hearts will help their healing.
I wish for peace in your moments. Perhaps there could be less conflict on small and large scales if we sought peace in the moments. And though war is unfortunately an inevitable component of human existence, peace in our moments can enable us to make the best uses possible of the freedom and opportunity that others have died for to protect.
Have a peace-full Memorial Day, my friends.
For a touching reminder of the day’s purpose, watch this presentation by Lt. Col. Peterson.