This American holiday was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Since then, it’s become more about afternoon barbecues, hardware store sales, and weekends at the beach than remembering those who have died in the defense of our country. To my own shame, I’ve given more thought to weeding my yard today than the sacrifices of so many. They laid down their lives to ensure that I have a yard where my little son can run and play without fear of harm.
My father-in-law recently returned from a business trip to France. Last night at dinner he related the details of an afternoon visit to Normandy. There, on that strip of American-owned land in France, are buried ten thousand soldiers who died in the Allied invasion. Many graves, he said, were simply marked “Remains Unknown.”
“Think of all the mothers,” my mother-in-law mused.
Think. Think of all the mothers. And fathers. And brothers and sisters. And spouses. And children.
Let us think. And let us thank.
To all of you who have lost a loved one who died protecting peace for us all, we want you to know that we are thinking of you today. And, although it is woefully inadequate for your loss, we want to say—
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4