How insufficient! One day a year we memorialize our fallen “warriors.” The word is nearly a misnomer; so many hardly more than kids. Cut down in brutal wars between nations that chose war over peace. Husbands, sons, brothers, uncles and now wives and daughters and sisters and aunts.
As a New Jersey kid, Memorial Day was an off-school day, to swim or play ball or picnic. It signaled the start of summer. Death was far distant; the future was full of fun. Never once did I think of grieving wives or parents who this day remembered heartbreaking loss, families for whom this day didn’t mark summer’s start but their loved one’s terrible end.
Maybe because I’m old I realize now the brevity and fragility of earthly life. A lifetime has shown me the value of freedom, even as I’ve learned more of the brutality and selfishness of men. So I thank God for these who fought and died. Not all of them wanted to fight. Many must have been terrified and wanted to run. But they fought, and mind-numbing numbers never came home.
The accompanying video is from Hillsdale College. A fitting memorial—until the Day Isaiah prophesied dawns . . .
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore (
Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.