By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
On Monday, May 25, many Americans across the nation have a paid holiday. Many will spend the day on golf courses, lakes, hiking trails, and numerous other places enjoying barbecue, burgers, hot dogs and all the trimmings.
I wonder, however, how many people actually know why they have the day off and, if they do, do they understand the sacrifices made by countless Americans so they can enjoy themselves?
Sometimes, I don’t even believe that some of our nation’s leaders — those elected to serve our country — truly appreciate the freedoms we enjoy. If they did, some might work harder to ensure that our country retains those freedoms in the years to come.
The simple definition of Memorial Day, according to history.com, is that it is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May honoring the men and women who have died in the United States military.
But it goes beyond that. Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, honors men and women who died serving their country so we can enjoy freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, the privilege to vote, and all the other freedoms we enjoy that many citizens of other countries in the world would love to have.
As you celebrate Memorial Day — before you hit the first drive off the golf tee, or cast a line into the lake, and before you take that first bite of barbecue or hamburger — thank God for this country which He has allowed us to live. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for all who have served this country and especially those who gave the greatest gift of all for us — their lives.
And, last but certainly not least, pray for our country and our leaders — that none of us will take the rights we have for granted. Because if we ever do and become complacent, our future descendants may not be able to celebrate in a country where freedom abounds. B&R