Isaiah 40:1-2, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
I hope and pray that each of you enjoyed a happy and safe Memorial Day. I am very thankful that we have days in our nation to recognize those who serve, served and died in military service. I sometimes get our three days of military recognition confused:
(a) Veterans Day: Also referred to as Armistice Day (the name changed to Veterans Day in 1954), was passed by congress in 1926 and established a national day of recognition in 1938. This day began to be recognized on November 11th on the first anniversary of the end of World War I, in observance of the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918 which marked the end of World War I. The day was established to recognize the veterans who served our country.
(b) Armed Forces Day: Established in 1949 (its origin spans two centuries in the United States) and is observed the third Saturday of every May. The day is set aside to give thanks and respect to the five branches of military (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard) and those who presently serve.
(c) Memorial Day: Observed the last Monday of every May, the day was originally titled Decoration Day and began to be recognized by many following the Civil War but became a federal calendar holiday in 1971. It is a day when we recognize the men and women who lost their lives in military service, defending and fighting for our country.
I am very thankful that we have these days during our calendar year to remember, give thanks and respect to those who have served our country faithfully. To many, these days just make for a long weekend, but to others these are days when they remember the sacrifice that has and is being made by those who love the United States of America.
When we think about those who served, made sacrifice and fought battles, the Lord Jesus Christ is easily the first One that comes to mind. The Lord came into this world and won the battle of salvation on the Cross, giving His precious life in His people’s room and stead. He arose the third day and is alive forever more. Each year when one of our National Holidays come around, I often think and ask myself, “I wonder how many remember Jesus and what He suffered and accomplished?” Yes, I am very thankful for those who served our country and lost their life on the altar of freedom. Yes, I am very thankful for those who have served and are serving this country, where religious freedom is experienced. But I am even more thankful that the Lord came into this world and won a battle that no other could have fought and won. The Victory of Salvation. Yes, “I heard the old, old story, How a Savior came from glory, How He gave His life on Calvary, To save a wretch like me, I heard about His groaning, Of His precious blood’s atoning, Then I repented of my sins and saw the victory. O victory in Jesus, My Savior forever, He sought me and bo’t me with His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood.” May God help us to remember Him every day. Psalm 98:1, “O Sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.”