In Honor of Memorial Day

It began on April 19, 1775 at the battle of Lexington and Concord. It was this famous revolutionary battle that was preceded by the midnight ride of Paul Revere and made immortal by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."

The battle of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of America's war for independence. It was then the blood of the first American patriots was spilled. From that day until this, many of our men and women have willingly given their lives for the cause of freedom - in many wars, on many continents, with varying degrees of support from the home front.

The blood shed on September 11, 2001 became the catalyst in the war on terrorism. That tragic event briefly united Americans in a common cause, however that unity has splintered. National tragedy may have amalgamated the masses, but growing differences in values and philosophy have driven a wedge down the middle of American society. Americans are fighting a battle both in foreign lands and here at home. In the war against terrorism our enemy is easily defined, however the domestic battle lines are more muddled. As a nation we have begun to abandon the faith and values of our founding fathers.

Let us assess the State of the Union in the mirror of God's Word.

  • Homosexuality is accepted as simply "an alternative lifestyle."
  • We murder babies that are socially inconvenient.
  • We change marriage partners like a fashion statement.
  • We have abandoned the sanctity of commitments in our families and in our businesses.
  • Immorality and deceit have come to characterize the highest offices in our land.
  • We have allowed God to be banished from public school classrooms and we have watched as religious expression is constrained under the auspices of "separation of church and state."
  • Our mainline media takes pride in forming public opinion rather than informing it, which had been its sacred role in a representative republic.
  • Our culture has disconnected character from destiny.
  • Our entertainments celebrate adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sexual practices and every imaginable form of evil.
  • We have become the primary exporters of everything that God abhors.

Today, in the Middle East, thousands of United States soldiers are fighting to protect the values and freedoms that we too often take for granted.

Please take some time this week to pray for spiritual healing for our nation, wisdom for our leaders, and safety for our soldiers fighting overseas. Also, in honor of Memorial Day, please take a moment to thank our military veterans and those in active military service for risking their lives for the cause of freedom.

Article copied from Koinonia House e-mail newsletter

"Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom...

Under one such marker lies a young man - Martin Treptow - who left his job in a small-town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, 'My Pledge,' he had written these words: 'America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone'." - Ronald Reagan "

War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill

"We know in our hearts that peace never really lasts for long, which leads to an interesting question: Why is it that humans are apparently designed to desire good and noble things we cannot possibly have? Considering this question, C. S. Lewis concluded, 'If our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world, then we must have been made for another world'." - Charles Colson

It Is the Soldier

by Father Dennis Edward O'Brien
United States Marine Corps

"It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protestor to burn the flag."