Memorial Day creates all sorts of memories for people. For most of us there are memories of the unofficial kick-off of summer – picnics and adventures and relaxation. As someone who grew up in Indianapolis, the weekend is all about motorsports – Monte Carlo, Indianapolis, Charlotte. However, the official reason for the holiday, as expressed by a friend of mine recently retired from the Army is, “for all of our Fallen Service Members who have made the ultimate heroic sacrifice.” Thus it is, for many, a day of loss. I have come to understand this more deeply in the last 15 years as it marks the anniversary of two very significant losses in my life – but neither were in the military, they were both lost to the simple tragedy of a traffic accident.
It is important not to let the racing, fun, family and sad memories push away the genuine reason for the holiday because in the end it is not loss that we celebrate or remember. Jesus said:
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
We remember and celebrate love today. Every Fallen Service Member in cemeteries across the nation and abroad loved. They loved their family; they loved their fellow soldiers; they loved their country – they loved them enough to lay down their life for them. They loved with the greatest love.
That is worth celebrating.