A Day to Remember

by Joan Clayton

Memorial Day is a day for remembrance, a day to honor those who have died. It is a day to give tribute, marked with dignity, to those who have gone on before us.

We remember on this day those in the service who gave their lives for our freedom. John 15:13 states: "The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends" (ncv). Many service personnel lost their lives while trying to save the lives of fellow soldiers. I think also of firemen, policemen, and others who put their lives on the line. This is love and unselfishness in its truest form. It is comforting to know that many who are in danger are sustained by Bible verses they learned as children.

We also honor loved ones and their memory on this day. My grandfather's love for the Lord enabled him to die without fear, looking forward to that fair land he sang and prayed about.

Memorial Day is a day of expressing gratitude. I am so thankful for those in my own heritage who left a spiritual legacy for me, an example for overcoming problems through a strong undaunted faith in God.

Memorial Day is a day of prayer, a prayer for those who are suffering persecution for their belief. Please pray for those who have no freedom and live with continual pain.

I think Memorial Day should be celebrated every day. I love seeing "Old Glory" proudly waving in my town. I feel a lump in my throat and feel a tear on my cheek whenever I hear our National Anthem. Every time I say the Pledge of Allegiance, I want to say "Amen."

Most of all, I will remember each day, the price Jesus paid by His death on the cross. He purchased our eternal salvation and freedom. May we all thank Him for His priceless sacrifice and for the privilege of living in America. It is sad, but true, that we often do not appreciate something until it is gone. Please never take God or this country for granted.

Today I will say "I love you" to someone dear. Today I will be happy. If I cannot be happy now...this breath-breathing moment...then I will never be happy. I will count my many blessings and be filled with spiritual joy. Today I will look for the good and be glad I'm alive. Today I will think of the happy times I've had on earth and yet know heaven will be indescribably better! Today I will remind myself:

"This world is not my home. My days are numbered here. I'm on my way to that fair land with those I love so dear. My treasures are not money, but things that wealth can't buy. For all my hopes and dreams, my Savior will supply."

On this Memorial Day may we say with the psalmist "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Ps. 90:12 niv). I pray we use our time wisely and for the good. No matter how intense our fears, our trust in God dispels them.

This Memorial Day I will remember, honor, and be thankful for those who have gone before me. For all of us who have lost loved ones, I wrote the following poem:

"Death is not the end. It seems so final now. A cherished one is in the grave. We must carry on somehow. That dear one left the body, for a better place. No more painful moments, because of God's great grace. Though we miss that loved one, yet it will not be long, until we meet again amongst the angel throng."

Free-lance writer Joan Clayton lives in Portales, NM.

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