November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States. This is the day we remember and honor those who have served in our nation’s military.
The Fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This is the day set aside to give thanks to God for all the blessings He bestowed and bestows on us as a nation.
May 21 is Armed Forces Day. This is the day we honor those who currently serve in our nation’s military.
The last Monday in May is Memorial Day. This is the day we remember those in our nation’s military who have died protecting our nation.
The cemetery of St. Matthew Lutheran Church & School is in my back yard, so to speak, as I live in the Parsonage of St. Matthew Lutheran Church and School. This weekend, all the graves of veterans will be decorated with the flag of the United States of America. We have veterans from the Civil War, World War I, II, Korea and Viet Nam resting in our cemetery awaiting the final trumpet call.
As I wake up each morning, sipping tea or coffee and going through my morning devotions and prayers, I often do so looking out over the cemetery.
This weekend, I am reminded that I have the freedom to pray and worship because of the men and women who served – and some who have died serving – in our nation’s military.
I thank God for that freedom. And I thank those men and women – and their families – for their sacrifice so that I have that freedom.
Decoration DaySleep, comrades, sleep and restOn this Field of the Grounded Arms,Where foes no more molest,Nor sentry’s shot alarms!Ye have slept on the ground before,And started to your feetAt the cannon’s sudden roar,Or the drum’s redoubling beat.But in this camp of DeathNo sound your slumber breaks;Here is no fevered breath,No wound that bleeds and aches.All is repose and peace,Untrampled lies the sod;The shouts of battle cease,It is the Truce of God!Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!The thoughts of men shall beAs sentinels to keepYour rest from danger free.Your silent tents of greenWe deck with fragrant flowersYours has the suffering been,The memory shall be ours.— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow