Memorial Day 2008 comes as thousands of Americans are deployed around the world in the uniformed services of the United States. Inevitably, honoring the fallen and honoring veterans goes together with honoring those who currently serve in our place with their lives on the line.
I have experienced incredible moments of meaning in military cemeteries around the world. There is a solemn call of gratitude that speaks louder than words. Line after line of simple white markers speak the story of the cost of freedom. Cemeteries across this land are dotted with the markers of military service.
And it is so important that we remember especially those familes whose grief is so powerful and so recent. There are spouses, parents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends who grieve the over 4,000 of our troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Americans celebrate and observe Memorial Day, that debt requires an attention we must not deny.
My son Christopher and I were in Chicago as the Memorial Day weekend began, and we were able to see the Chicago Memorial Day Parade. It is one of those great civic events that only a huge city can offer — with as many ethnicities and diverse groups as one can imagine. It was so moving to see groups like the Korean-American World War II vets, along with so many young people, march in honor of the fallen. Many of these young people are already in uniform, enrolled in various ROTC and Junior ROTC programs. They were marching together with pride, and that is a great portrait of America as a nation. — past, present, and future.
Photographs taken in Chicago, Illinois at the Chicago Memorial Day Parade 2008, at State Street just south of Wacker Avenue.
A Debt We Cannot Repay
This is Albert Mohler for Townhall.com.
The resting places of the fallen evoke both memory and gratitude, with line after line of simple white stones marking the graves of the brave. All across this nation the fallen lie, along with many thousands of their fellows, whose graves now lie in foreign lands.
Memorial Day 2008 comes as Americans owe a debt of unspeakable gratitude to yet another generation of those who have so proudly served and dies in the service of their country. How do we recognize–much less repay–that debt?
In the first place, we pause on this Memorial Day to remember–and to count the cost of our freedoms once again. Our freedom has been bought with the blood of the brave.
Don’t let the sun set on your Memorial Day without remembering that debt.
I’m Albert Mohler.