Honoring Memorial Day With Your Family

 

I’m an “Army Brat.” If that term is unfamiliar to you, it’s a common description of a child who has a parent in the U.S. Army. “Army Brats” are often born in another country, or a small town in the middle of nowhere, U.S.A.  We move around a lot, make fast friends, say goodbye to those friends and make new ones in the next town. We understand each other and feel a sense of pride in our unusual lifestyle. We also learn a great deal about honor, respect, loyalty and commitment. Most importantly, we learn to remember those who lost their lives serving our country.

Having lived for a time near our nation’s capital, my family visited national monuments, attended military band concerts, watched Memorial Day TV specials and proudly hung our flag on the front porch. I still spend that day grateful that my father, an Army officer, survived two wars. However, many are not so lucky. My mother lost an uncle during wartime. Therefore, we always kept in mind the sacrifice that so many men and women have made for our country. I fear that although, logically, most people know the meaning of Memorial Day, some look at it as a long weekend and the start of summer.

Therefore, just as I am a member of the “Army Brat” club, I am also a member of “God’s Army.” In fact, we all are members of “God’s Army.” We were adopted, by Him, to fight the good fight of our Lord Jesus. His sacrifice has made it possible for us to have eternal freedom, much like the sacrifice of those who died for our country. So, here are some ways your “Army” can honor Memorial Day this year!

  1. Pray for those who have given their lives for our freedom. Pray also for their families.
  2. Create a special PowerPoint or other media presentation to share with family, on social media or in your church.
  3. Light a special candle in your home to honor the fallen. Re-light that candle each year.
  4. Hang a flag both inside and outside your home. Have your family create a short ceremony for hanging the flags.
  5. Lay a wreath. Find a place in your community to pay tribute to fallen veterans, whether it is at a cemetery, a veteran’s memorial, or a city building.
  6. Remember active duty troops. Make a habit of praying for them daily.
  7. Do a project for active duty troops. Make military care packages. Purchase small items to mail to troops serving overseas.
  8. Take part in a community service day. Dedicate your community service to those who have died for our freedom and for those who are bravely serving our country.
  9. Learn about issues affecting veterans. Help create awareness about the physical and mental health concerns veterans have after serving during wartime.

Your family can begin a new tradition by observing Memorial Day in a special way. Not only will you enjoy valuable family time, you can help remind others that just as God sacrificed His son, many have sacrificed their lives, so we can be free.  Freedom comes at a price. May we never take that for granted.

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