What is the history of Memorial Day?
“Memorial Day is an official holiday in the United States. It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when for federal employees, the date was changed to the last Monday in May. It is also known as Decoration Day.
The custom of placing flowers on the graves of the war began on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, NY, and Waterloo has been recognized by Congress as the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
In 1868, Gen. John Logan, then president of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate the graves of comrades with “flowers who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”
After World War I the day was set aside to honor all Americans who died in wars, then the custom was extended to pay tribute to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian.
The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington national Cemetery.
Today we celebrate this day.
Many people see it as just a day off; a 3 day weekend. A reason to cook out and invite friends over, But for those who have lost someone because of war or military action, it means much more than a day off.
In fact, every American ought to recognize this day and honor those who gave their lives to make America what it is today—
free, strong, and a nation worth fighting for.
Because men have died for this country, we have the right to preach God’s word freely.
We have the right to live at peace in our own homes.
We have the right to pursue peace, prosperity and happiness.
We need to thank God for those who died to make us free.
On Memorial Day we
1-Mourn the Loss
2-Remember the Lives
3-Are thankful for the Sacrifice
As we prepare today to remember those who died for our country, it is important to remember the one who died to set us free from our sins.
Jesus fought the armies of Hell so that we might have liberty in his name.
Every week is a celebration of the Memorial of Christ.
Every Sunday is a memorial day for the Christian
In light of Christ’s battle, let’s take a closer look at our memorial in Him as we recognize the likeness of our celebration of our military.
On Memorial Day we Mourn the Loss
Mt 18:12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
As we mourn the loss of Christ, we realize that we are the guilty ones. And know that if there only be one sinner who was lost, He still would have died. His love is that great.
On Memorial Day we: Remember the Lives
On the Road to Emmaus
Lk 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
• Part of our emotional healing in the process of grief is to remember the lives of the loved one who has passed.
• The headstones we put on the graves are a testimony of who those people were.
Let me share with you some epitaphs I found.
• Gone So Soon
• Dear Parents, though we will miss you much, we know you rest with God.
• Safe in the Arms of Jesus-Faithful Unto Death-Gone But Not Forgotten
• Go Spirit, Go Thy Way- At Rest-Asleep in Jesus
• The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want-Life’s Work Well Done She Rests in Peace
• All of these messages tell us a little about the one who is buried under that headstone.
What must we remember about Jesus?
The answer is that He would like us to remember how He lived and what he taught through His life.
He set an example of how to live in love.
Our life should reflect that love.
On Memorial Day we Are thankful for the Sacrifice
1 Cor 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Christians, do not make light of this Memorial Feast. “We do this in remembrance of Him”
It was a few weeks before Christmas 1917. The beautiful snowy landscapes of Europe were blackened by war.
The trenches on one side held the Germans and on the other side the trenches were filled with Americans. It was World War I. The exchange of gunshots was intense. Separating them was a very narrow strip of no-man’s-land.
A young German soldier attempting to cross that no-man’s-land had been shot and had become entangled in the barbed wire. He cried out in anguish, then in pain he continued to whimper.
Between the shells all the Americans in that sector could hear him scream. When one American soldier could stand it no longer, he crawled to that German soldier. When the Americans realized what he was doing they stopped firing, but the Germans continued.
Then a German officer realized what the young American was doing and he ordered his men to cease firing. Now there was a weird silence across the no-man’s-land. On his stomach, the American made his way to that German soldier and disentangled him.
He stood up with the German in his arms, walked straight to the German trenches and placed him in the waiting arms of his comrades. Having done so, he turned and started back to the American trenches.
Suddenly there was a hand on his shoulder that spun him around. There stood a German officer who had won the Iron Cross, the highest German honor for bravery.
He jerked it from his own uniform and placed it on the American, who walked back to the American trenches.
Only when he was safely in the trenches, did they resume the insanity of war!
That German soldier was thankful for that American soldiers sacrifice.
On Memorial Day we
1-Mourn the Loss
2-Remember the Lives
83-Are Thankful for the Sacrifice
All the heroic acts done on the battlefields through history have made our country what it is today. We are free. We are wealthy and we are respected around the world.
I am proud to be an American and I have the luxuries of this country because men have died to give me what I have.
Similarly the price Jesus paid afforded us salvation. We have the promise of salvation and we did nothing to afford this luxury.
For this we must be thankful.