Last weekend my ministry journey had taken me to the Springfield (MO) area of the USA, while this weekend we’re in Springfield (MA)—with a focus on Memorial Day.  Long before two of my sons became Marines and my son-in-law became a dentist in the Navy, Memorial Day had become a special American “holiday” for our family. 

Using the word holiday to describe this sacred time and use of that term may have led our nation away from the true meaning and purpose of Memorial Day.  Although I am all for parades and picnics, and have nothing whatsoever against using this weekend to mark the unofficial beginning of summer, we must not allow the true meaning to be obscured or upstaged by the other activities. 

One of the first men that I met upon my arrival at the Cedar Bluff Baptist Church in Fair Grove (MO) last Sunday was a World War II veteran.  One of the first things I said to this wonderful gentleman was, “Thank you for your service to our country, sir!”  His response was so typical of the men of that generation.  With no hesitation, he retorted, “It’s was what I wanted to do.  The day I turned 19, I went and signed up!” 

Sitting and chatting with that elderly World War II veteran, I was once again reminded of the importance of protecting the purpose of Memorial Day.  While its companion holiday (Veterans Day), celebrated in November each year, is for the living who have served or are serving our country, this weekend is a solemn reminder of the high price of freedom. 

Americans enjoy a level of freedom that few people in our world enjoy.  Yet, I fear, we take it for granted; but therein is the purpose of Memorial Day—remembering and honoring those who have paid the ultimate price to purchase the freedoms we enjoy. 

It is common knowledge that America is in trouble on many fronts.  We must not allow ourselves the luxury of sailing carelessly through the perilous waters in which we find ourselves.  Memorial Day offers us a prime opportunity to reflect on the past, analyze our present peril, and commit ourselves to helping to correct our national course, securing these freedoms for our posterity. 

America needs an old-fashion revival of living out the principles on which we were founded.  While the Constitution of the United States seems to have little meaning in Washington, DC anymore, grassroots America is awakening to the importance of that aged document and the wisdom that erupts from it. 

Further, our nation needs an old-fashioned revival of parenting as well.  Anyone walking through their local shopping district in America today can see and hear that often three-year-olds are in charge of their thirty-year-old parents, rather than the other way around.  We are not living in a time when we as parents can subcontract the high responsibility of educating, mentoring, and training our children and grandchildren—academically or spiritually.

As we successfully assume and execute these principles (and in the context of parenting especially), I believe we will also see a new level of national pride—an old-fashioned revival of patriotism!  Let’s allow the tears to flow on this Memorial Day 2012 as we reflect on those who have given their lives to secure our freedoms.  When we have done so, we can experience a much higher level of celebration on the Fourth of July, and great appreciation for those who serve in our Armed Forces on Veterans Day!

BTW, do you pray?  If so, join me this weekend in praying for …

  • Those families who have an empty seat at their table, because their loved one gave all
  • God to touch our hearts, stir in us, and change us into people of greater gratitude
  • For our nation to return to the principles that once made us great
  • That God will use my Stateside ministry SALUTE! to inspire believer-citizens into great action for Christ and for country!



3 responses to “MEMORIAL DAY 2012

  1. Once Again Dale. Thank You for breaking it down and reminding us about the IMPORTANT things. God Bless- Jason Worsdale


  2. Debbie Crowe Jenkins

    Thank You for sharing your heart. I will pray for all the families such as yours with empty chairs this weekend.

    My son Curt is marring a sweet MO girl this July who he first met her and her family here in Tennessee on a mission trip in the Appalachia!




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