Remembering Those Who Gave All

“Poor is the nation that has no heroes. Poorer still is the nation that, having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s a day we mark with picnics and parades. The unofficial beginning of summer, yet so much more than the chance to eat hot dogs and buy a new swimsuit.

Decoration Day, as the holiday was originally known, began after the Civil War–our bloodiest conflict. It was a time when a divided country was trying to heal–perhaps as we are today.

We mark the day on the last Monday of May–but May 30 had been the selected date before three-day weekends became a priority. May 30 reminds us of no notable battles from the Civil War. The day only reminds us of those who’ve given themselves for the cause of country–our country.

We enrich ourselves in this remembering.

Remembering those who’ve done noble things tells us we can be noble too.

Of his sailors and marines at Iwo Jima in World War II, Admiral Chester Nimitz said, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Iwo Jima is famous for the flag-raising image that is now a statue.

Three of the six flag raisers died in battle.

My father was in the South Pacific as a Navy medic. He was someone who went to war to make sure others came home safely. Someone who hoped not to see battle–but was prepared in case he did,

“Courage, G.K. Chesterton said, “is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”

Today we remember those who wanted to live but fought anyway. Some came home. Some gave themselves instead.

Today, we honor those who gave all.

Photo Credit: Pexels and National Geographic

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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16 Replies to “Remembering Those Who Gave All”

  1. There’s a reason we call them “the greatest generation.” Today, I believe we can learn so much from those who gave the ultimate sacrifice… not only WW2 veterans, but those who served and lost their lives in all wars, or in defending the least and the lost. Today, many wonderful police officers and firefighters do the same, as well as soldiers. Remembering reminds us we are to model Jesus’s own sacrifice.

  2. Thank you for this post. Too many Americans just look at Memorial Day weekend at the kick-off for summer or a three-day weekend. It’s is vital to remember those who’ve fallen for our freedom.

    It’s interesting to note that there were many women, too – behind the scenes – that also gave their lives in the cause for freedom. My husband and I just watched a historical drama, “A Call to Spy,” where women where recruited to spy in WWII because they were less suspicious. One woman, Virginia, was an American who wanted to be a diplomat but instead, ended up in charge of some of some spy groups, and survived the war to eventually earn a medal of honor!

    So, it takes all kinds of people to earn and keep our freedoms.

    1. Yes! I read a book about her. (A Woman of No Importance) An amazing woman with an amazing story!
      My mother also served during the war–in the Coast Guard in Oklahoma of all places.
      Men and women. Thank you, Lisa! God bless!

  3. My father was a veteran of the European campaign. So many brave men and women fought to preserve our freedom and many gave all. Thank you for this beautiful tribute.

  4. I agree remembering and honoring our heroes draws us together, Nancy. And I love the quote from G.K. Chesterton. Thank you for this important post.

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