Memorial Day observations will certainly be different this year. This unofficial start to summer is when we traditionally remember those who have served and sacrificed for our country. We will still do that even if it is while socially distanced.
This year however we will not only remember those who have served our country but also remember what our country used to be like. What we’ll remember the most, are some of the things we took most for granted. We’ll remember how we used to go to church to feed our souls and remember when we went out to restaurants to feed our bodies. We’ll remember going to county fairs, graduations, ball games, stores, and vacation trips. We’ll fondly remember when we didn’t need to wear masks or didn’t avoid people in grocery stores while looking for items in short supply. We’ll remember when unemployment was low and the economy was strong.
It seems like a lifetime ago but it was only a few months. We’ve learned painfully that it is easier and quicker to shut down an economy than it is to bring one back. We’ve also learned that the freedoms that many have sacrificed for are precious and can be taken away quickly. Enemies come in many forms and sometimes like a virus, are invisible. The impact, however, is very visible. Threats to our freedoms are sometimes hard to see until it is too late. Our freedoms should help us through a crisis but if we aren’t careful we can lose them in a crisis.
Reasonable people can disagree on issues like health and safety. However, there should never be a disagreement on preserving our freedoms that so many have fought for and some would now take away from us. Responsibilities come with freedoms. We all need to act responsibly but we also have to be allowed to do so. Our country has survived many great tests in the past but that is no guarantee we will overcome this one or those in the future. We have to remember what we are fighting for is our way of life. It wasn’t perfect and never will be because we are humans. That doesn’t mean however we have to sit back and let it be taken from us.
It is easy to point fingers and criticize but as it has always been, it is up to each of us to make a positive contribution to our society. We are all called to serve our country especially in times like these. On this holiday of remembrance let’s all remember that on our worst days we are never beyond the reach of God’s grace and on our best days we are never beyond the need of God’s grace.