“No words are adequate to console those who have lost a loved one serving our nation. We can only offer our prayers and join in their grief. We grieve for the mother who hears the sound of her child’s 21-gun salute. We grieve for the husband or wife who receives a folded flag. We grieve for a young son or daughter who only knows Dad from a photograph.” President George W. Bush
“We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask,”What do these stones mean to you?” (Joshua 4:1; NLT)
What are your plans for celebrating Memorial Day 2008?
Yesterday I had the privilege to attend the worship service at White Oak Run Baptist Church and be one of the many people to honor Rev. Dr. Charlene Phillips on First Lady’s Day. Charlene has had a huge impact on me, my family, and my ministry. Charlene’s son, JJ Phillips, is my anointed graphics artist. In February 2008, Charlene began her two year term serving as president of the Culpeper Ministerial Association.
At the end of the First Lady’s Day service, Charlene had the opportunity to thank people and share her perspective. She mentioned how she and her husband Rev. Jacob drove to West Virginia on Friday May 23 to honor their parents and grandparents by placing flowers on their graves. It was a year ago that both Charlene’s and Jacob’s mothers died.
Charlene’s story prompted me to ask my wife about visiting her father’s grave today in Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day along with her mother to put flowers on his grave. James (Jim) Kim, Julia’s father, was my best friends for years before he died in May 2001. That was 7 years ago and I still miss him tremendously. But his legacy continues on through his children and grandchildren. Jim served in World War II. My father served in the army for 23 years and then at the Pentagon Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the Secretary of the Army for another 15.
This morning I received a very touching Daily Gram from Jerry Graham titled “All Gave Some…Some Gave All.” In that, Jerry shares some interesting tidbits about the history of Memorial Day from the official www.usmemorialday.org website. For example:
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.
Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.
Jerry goes on to share that the “traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day… Now, as so accurately reported by Wikipedia, Memorial Day is used as a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events.”
But what impacted me the most about Jerry’s message was the special Memorial Day song and associated story in his Link of the Day. Therefore I made that my Link of the Day. To read Jerry’s entire message, visit his blog at http://thecoachingpair.com/blog.
Lord, may we remember those who died in the service of our country to preserve our freedoms. Let us not be so caught up in our holiday activities or political activism that fail to honor those who “gave their all.”
Link of the Day
“All Gave Some. Some Gave All” – new Memorial Day song by Mullins
Blessings to spend time today honoring those who have their all for us!
Joseph Peck, M.D.
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Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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