It is my usual practice to remember Memorial Day by watching the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ as a personal reminder of the sacrifice that many have made so that we can live free.
I know many of you reading this have also seen that remarkable movie. Do you remember how an entire team of Army Rangers gave their lives to save just one: Private Ryan? Do you remember the chilling last words of the captain of that Ranger team?
Those were his dying words to Private Ryan but he wasn’t just speaking to him. Private Ryan represents every one of us. We are the recipients of the greatest gift that anyone could give to us.
On this Memorial Day I meditate on the Word of God and how well it aligns with our American values. Jesus himself tells us in John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Let us solemnly remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.
In my own family we have been greatly blessed with several courageous relatives who have served. Only one that I am aware of in my family tree gave the ultimate sacrifice:
Private Robert Briggs cast aside his own well being and volunteered to serve with the 37th Regiment of the Wisconsin Infantry to free the slaves during our Civil War. Briggs was wounded in the Battle of Petersburg and taken prisoner. He later died of disease as a POW in Danville, Va.
In honor of my dad’s service during the Vietnam War I also think about the men he served with who gave the ultimate sacrifice: Ed Zager, Thomas Dazey, and Dennis Reed are the three we paid our respects to while visiting the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
May our Heavenly Father bless all the relatives of those who so courageously sacrificed everything for us. May He give us the courage to earn it and honor their memories by taking the time to study and understand the United States Constitution and work to defend and uphold it. Amen.