The Price is TOO High to Forget, Neglect, and Reject!

By: Steve Huston

I’m not sure why I have a sense of patriotism and a concern for that which has and is taking place in America, the nation I call home. Maybe it’s because I was born on the Fourth of July; perhaps it’s because my grandfather, dad, and uncles fought in various branches of the U.S. military; possibly, it’s simply because I am a conservative Christian and God has just hard-wired me that way. Regardless the reason, I recognize the high, high, price of freedom and am grateful to God, in His sovereignty, for making our national heritage a Christian one and for the men, women, children, and families who have taken the responsibility to pay such a high price to guard this freedom, often standing for what is good and right and holy, with their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.” I’ve taken the words of former President Reagan seriously, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

For decades I have done my best to instill this sense of gratitude into my children regarding the sacredness of selfless sacrifice, the beauty and great responsibility of self-governance, and the freedoms given to us by God and to be protected by our Constitution.  They’ve seen me in tears as I’ve pointed out both the grandness of America and those times where we, as a nation, blew it; recognizing that these are not just historical facts but actions that have affected the lives of individuals and their families as well, for generations to come. It’s in this same vein that I point out the impossibility of national pride, recognizing that all the good we have has come from the Hand of God, who has moved upon the hearts of obedient men, bringing us such freedoms and blessings and that the stains upon our national story come from the sins of ingratitude, disobedience, and self-glorification and self-worship. My children and their friends have followed me through museums, hearing me warn that the high cost of this freedom has been blood, discomfort, and the laying down of one’s life; hearing me also warn that this country was starting to embrace the very things for which these soldiers sacrificed.

Sometimes I wonder if any of this really sinks in; but then there are those times when God lets you know that someone was listening. This past Memorial Day was one of those days. My girls and I were enjoying the sun and getting some exercise when we struck up a short conversation with a couple we met. As we left, the woman wished us a “Happy Memorial Day.” Part way back to the car my daughter asked me, “Dad, is it appropriate to say, ‘Happy Memorial Day’?” She said she knew that the woman meant no disrespect by it; but with what this special day of remembering represents, wondered if the word “happy” was really the right thing to say. I was grateful for her mixed feelings. I explained that it’s similar, but to a much lesser degree, to why Good Friday is “good.”

Dear Reader, I hope the above and the following will help you to understand that the price has been, and is, TOO high to forget, to neglect, and to reject! If we forget the tremendous cost of what was paid for our freedom we will cease to value it. If we neglect and disregard these freedoms we will lose them and will one day be called upon to answer for so great a loss. If we reject even a portion of our Constitution, denying the great price paid for self-governance and the protecting of our rights and freedoms, it will unravel, leaving us to the whims of a tyrannical dictatorship. I urge you to gratefully remember God’s beneficence to the United States and its people and for those who have died to protect the blessings of freedom which the God of heaven has bestowed upon us. Except on Memorial Day, make a habit of thanking those living who have and are serving to protect this nation and what it constitutionally represents. My girls and I go out of our way to not miss any opportunity to do so. They have paid a great price; how can we not show our gratitude? (I won’t take the time to do so here, but will you please go back over this paragraph and apply this spiritually to your salvation and Christian growth as well? We mustn’t forget, neglect, and reject such a high cost.)

During this morning’s staff meeting, Bill read this piece that Jim Simpson shared in an email. Please take a moment to read it—it’s sobering and is worth reading, as a reminder, several times throughout the year.

This is the Memorial Day Weekend.

It is not a day of happiness or good cheer. It is a day to remember those who died so that the rest of us could live in a free country devoid of tyranny.

It’s about the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican American War, the American Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives for our country.

It’s about the young boy crying out for his mother as he lay dying on a battlefield.

It’s about Sailors dying at sea, as their torpedoed ships slip beneath the waves.

It’s about Airmen shot from the sky and falling to earth.

It’s about Coast Guardsmen dying while transporting men onto enemy beaches under withering machinegun and artillery fire.

It’s about Marines, losing their lives, fighting hand to hand on God Forsaken Islands in the middle of vast oceans.

It’s about servicemen and women dying in prisoner of war camps from disease and starvation.

It’s about everyone who died but whose remains were never recovered from the snowcapped mountains, jungles, deserts and seas where they breathed their last breaths.

It’s about the fathers who left behind families.

It’s about boys too young to vote.

It’s about brothers who died together leaving no one to carry on their family name.

That’s what it’s about.

It’s not about barbeques, hot dogs, beer and a day at the river, the lake or the beach.

It’s about freedom that was preserved by the sacrifices of those who selflessly gave their lives.

Freedom isn’t free. The currency that bought it was the blood of those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy it.

So, go ahead and have your picnics.

But before you begin the festivities remember and remind others what this day is about and give thanks to those who weren’t able to enjoy it because they gave up their lives so that the rest of us could.

Please don’t wish others a Happy Memorial Day. It’s not a happy day. For many, it is a day to mourn the loss of family members, friends and buddies who died for us. It is a day for all of us to remember and be grateful to them.  . . . AND DON’T FORGET TO DISPLAY OLD GLORY.

If you’d like to read our pre-Memorial Day article click here.


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