Freedom Isn’t Free By Barry Bruce Memorial Day 2016
I saw an actor act today
He played a soldier true
But he was paid an actor’s wage
And was applauded too.
His performance won an Oscar
And critical acclaim
But he was not a soldier
For a soldier knows no fame.
I heard a politician speak today
Her words were carefully spun
She caught the ears of an eager crowd
And fooled most everyone
Her web a soldier’s story
Her aim her own degree
But she was not that soldier
Who died for you and me.
I saw some students rage today
About their rights and wrongs
They chanted out their selfishness
And sang some catchy songs
They marched through streets like soldiers
But ignored the patriot’s way
For they were not like soldiers
For soldiers do not play.
And finally I saw a cross
While in prayer on bended knee
And there I prayed for all who lost
A soldier’s life for me.
Lord, please help me remember
All of their patriot dreams
These soldiers who did battle
For the unknown likes of me.
For me and for my children,
And all posterity
May I live to honor all they gave
For freedom isn’t free!
Like a Piñata at a Funeral
Can you imagine how out of place it would be to bring a piñata to a funeral? To bring an object of fun and frivolity to a place of loss and sorrow? This is exactly what Americans do every Memorial Day. What was originally set aside as a national day of remembrance for those who died in service of the United States of America has become what I liken to a piñata at a funeral. The Indianapolis 500 (car race) drowned out the reflection of any memorial to our fallen heroes for race fans— just as it has for decades. Millions of Memorial Day sales also took the place of much reflective thought and the “long weekend” got others so preoccupied at getting away that they never even thought about what was given up so that they could afford such freedoms. Then there was the beach, the barbeques, the parties and the beer. Some of these events featured a short little bit of patriotism and some even offered a prayer or a moment of silence, but largely the day went by for most Americans without a thought of those who died for our American liberties. On the day that all Americans should absolutely stop everything and contemplate life, death and living a legacy of service to ones fellow man—life just keeps spinning aimlessly by, with people selfishly unaware of its immense value and fragility.
The loved ones of these fallen soldiers remember. They have remembered every day since their great loss. How hard it must be to have a funeral service each year for your loved one, only to see others race by with blinders. Take heart loved ones, for even Christ who went to the cross for our salvation has been largely overshadowed by an Easter bunny with eggs and chocolate treats. Only the faithful patriot will truly remember the sacrifice of these fallen heroes with a tear on such a day. Let the tears fall America and teach your children to cry and be grateful as well.
Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country”. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.” Benjamin Franklin
Our American colors are Red, white and blue. Some people are Yellow with cowardice, others are green with envy. What color are you? I would like to say I’m red, white and blue. Yes, I am proud to be an American and of what our colors historically and symbolically represent:
Red: Blood Shed John 15:13, 1 Peter 2:16-17
The 13 stripes in our American flag symbolize the first thirteen colonies but they are red and white for a reason. Red stands for the blood that was shed to secure our liberty and freedoms. Franklin spoke the truth, we must continue to fight for our freedoms if we intend to keep them. As Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down ones life for a friend.” This is exactly what our soldiers have done for us as we live in the safety that they provide. This selfless bravery was demonstrated chiefly by Christ who is the Savior of our souls. He died so that we could be free from Satan’s rule in our lives. He died so that we could be free from sin and death, but the apostle, Peter, reminds us that even this freedom can be used for a cover-up for evil. We are admonished to love the Church (brotherhood), fear God and honor the king. The king that Peter spoke of was the government of that time. We are not to be divided against our government but are to “make it proud” of our conduct as we live out our Christian principals.
I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him..” Abraham Lincoln
White: Purity and Devotion to God John 15:4-8
Our country was founded in Christ, and the white stripes are a symbol of our Founding Father’s desire to remain pure and devoted to Him. Jesus reminds us that “apart from Him we can do nothing” accept be destroyed.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln
Many a leader and many a countryman has strayed from the pure devotion to God. It has hurt our families and our country. It has also damaged our reputation with the world. We need God in America again!
Blue: New Constellation/ A future with promise Philippians 2:12-18
America will only be the beautiful as long as it is the home of those brave enough to hold to it’s true colors. To honor God and fight for right. The blue in our flag stands for a future filled increasingly with stars. (colonies, peoples: converts of democracy) In the same way, as we hold to the truths of God and live for Him others will be added to God’s kingdom. That is of course the perfect nation, under God. Indescribable in it’s beauty, but until then we live in America! Thank Him who gives you life and never take for granted those who have paid for our freedoms.
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
Jesus set the example as the true hero of our souls —may we follow as soldiers of the cross.