Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Some Things Are Well Worth Remembering

Memorial Day 01

Monday is Memorial Day.

The holiday had its beginning after the Civil War and was set aside as a day of remembrance for both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in our nation’s bloodiest war.

Of course, the remembrance has been expanded to include all of those who have died while serving in our armed forces. (Veteran’s Day honors all, living or dead, who have served.)

Some things we do well to remember.

We do well to remember that freedom is not a commodity bestowed by any nation or government, however benevolent; freedom is the gift of God freely given to every human being created in his image.

We do well to remember that the responsibility of nations is to safeguard the freedom-gift God has already given.

We do well to remember that freedom is not a commodity to be confiscated or denied by a despotic nation or government; freedom is the birthright bestowed by our Creator.

We do well to remember that the freedom God has embedded in human hearts  not only survives, it can thrive even in the hearts of those living under outward imprisonment and persecution.

We do well to remember that the freedom which is deep joy and delight to those who cherish it even in the midst of oppression spells failure and destruction to those who live in deep fear of it.

We do well to remember that the same freedom which warms, ennobles, and inspires free hearts instills terror and doom in atrophied and twisted souls frenzied in their futile efforts to quell its tide.

We do well to remember that God’s gift of freedom, so precious that it makes life worth living, also makes life worth laying down so that others may live in its light.

We do well to remember the deep truth of our nation’s “Declaration of Independence,” that we are “endowed by our Creator” not only with life, but with liberty, God’s gift, and the gift of no other.

We do well to remember that the most precious blessings we have enjoyed in this nation have God’s gift of freedom as their life-giving root, their strong foundation.

We do well to remember and acknowledge that a deep love of freedom, though it lies in the hearts of all people, is particularly embedded in hearts of those living in a land built unashamedly on a foundation of freedom.

We do well to remember that those who scoff at God, deny his existence, flaunt his will, and deride anything he calls precious, are free to do so precisely and only because they live in a land whose founders honored God as freedom’s Source.

We do well to remember that thousands of men and women have died so that freedom which is the precious birthright of hearts may also be the outward reality of seemingly ordinary lives.

On ordinary days, national holidays, all days—we do well to remember.

 

     You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com

 

Copyright 2014 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


Freedom Is a Costly and Precious Gift

I am writing this column on a beautiful and calm morning. It’s a holiday, and I’m planning to be seriously involved in doing almost nothing serious today.

I’ve watered the fresh concrete in my driveway, trying to help it cure slowly and hoping to get it to grow. So far, that’s worked.

I’m sitting on the back patio, life-giving coffee and a deadly pellet gun on the table by my side. The coffee?  Well, everyone knows it’s foolish to try to write without coffee. And the pellet gun? Well, grackles occasionally show up to try to eat my dog food and chase off civilized birds. I’ve heard some of those nasty grackle-birds are endangered. I doubt it, but with all of my heart, I hope so. They’ll be more endangered if my aim is good today.

Today is Memorial Day. It’s a special day when we especially remember the sacrifice of those who have risked, and many lost, their lives and liberty to keep us free. To remember means to think.

Being still and enjoying time like this is something we should do more of. Thinking tends to happen on the rare occasions when we stop “doing” long enough to think about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

As I was thinking some this morning about those who have given life and liberty to safeguard the life and liberty which are God’s gifts to us, I thought of a short radio speech given almost 90 years ago in England.

Winston Churchill was talking about “The Causes of War.” He said that many people are convinced that the best way to avoid war is to “dwell upon its horrors,” to spend a lot of time talking about and focusing visually and rhetorically on the horrible cost of war in bloodshed and suffering. Yes, he said, such focus may indeed have genuine value in keeping civilized people from invading and subjugating other nations.

But it is very little help at all when rogue nations with power hungry and blood-thirsty leaders attack others. As we now know, to endlessly negotiate with a Hitler is as effective on the world scene as giving moving speeches on the playground to the school bully. Bullies like to talk. It gives them more time to brutalize the weak, and is very encouraging to them as it proves beyond any doubt the weakness of the speaker.

Oh, yes, Churchill allowed, it’s a fine thing to remind ourselves never to attack and pillage other peace-loving nations and to negotiate solutions to reasonable differences with other civilized nations.

But how do you effectively deal with nations who laugh at the idea of freedom and whose brutal and truly evil leaders gobble up and enslave nation after nation? Very differently.

Freedom is God’s gift to us, and it is precious. Thank God for all those, and their families, who have paid a very real price so that we can live in a land with mornings like this one.

 

 

Copyright 2012 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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