The power of Memory

The older we get, the more we are struck by the sheer power of memory.  A song we hear on the radio that reminds us of an event or a person special to us.  The smell of a perfume that reminds us of a dear grandmother.  The words of a poem that remind us of a turning point in our lives or an event in our church experience that reminds us of the great blessings granted to us by our God.

Few experiences rival the playing of the national anthem at the Olympics as one of our athletes is recognized for superior performance.  Certainly, the marriage of a child that brings up a lifetime of experiences to savor and cherish.  The recent service at Cornerstone Church where the service academy songs were played and each veteran was asked to stand at the call brought back a flood of memories of conversations long ago between my dad and his brothers and brothers-in-law about their service to the Navy and Air Force during and after WWII.

But Memorial Day.  Memorial Day stands as a beacon of memory shining across the years as a lighthouse of freedom for the world.  American citizens hold a place in world history as standing in the gap against tyranny and oppression the world over.  Men and women of numerous languages should be pausing today at Kandahar, Baghdad, Paris, London, Madrid, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Seoul, and numerous other places to remember that others gave so that they might enjoy the current calm around them.

We remember, and the emotions overwhelm us.  And as we note our own citizens disinterested and unaffected by the experience, we must do more to place the truths of the moment before them so that they, too, may be awed by the memories.  I am reminded of the truth from scripture, “No greater love can a man have than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  I ask myself, and I ask you, “What are you willing to lay down today for your friends?”  May God bless America.

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