In Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day speech given at Arlington National Cemetery,  the President says, “It’s the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins.” He lists hero after hero, outlining through these examples why we honor our fallen military men and women.
Reagan shares, “Not far from here is the statue of the three servicemen. … Perhaps you’ve seen it—three rough boys walking together, looking ahead with a steady gaze. … The three are touching each other, as if they’re supporting each other, helping each other on.” Reagan is stirred by this artistic rendition of the three young men because it typifies the commitment and courage of the United States’ armed forces, some having given their own lives to save the lives of their loved ones at home.
What does the Bible say about celebrating fallen heroes? We don’t have to look far to see it is God’s intent to remember our valiant military men and women, and to recount their accomplishments.
King David, for example, like Reagan, makes an accounting of his military men and their achievements. First, he names Adino the Ezinite who spears eight hundred enemies in one battle. He continues his honorarium and names Shammah the Harite who stands his ground in a barley field refusing to yield it to the Philistines (see II Samuel 23:8). David mentions other heroes along with their accomplishments. This is only one biblical example where military heroes are recognized. There are many other places in the Bible where heroes are named and honored.
If God is “The Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6 KJV)”, then why do we fight wars in the first place? President Regan answers this question towards the end of his speech by saying, “If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does.”
Sometimes peace needs to be enforced, and that by military prowess. When godless men oppress our children, women, and elderly, it is then that we must call upon the courageous amongst us, including our brave young men and women, to save us from these intruders.
Our peace is not free…. It is the gift of selfless heroes who look beyond their needs to secure the ours. Jesus says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10b KJV).”
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy;
I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10b KJV
Our military robs the enemy of his assignment to destroy, and secures life for us.
It is fitting for us to honor our fallen American mighty men and women, for they have paid the ultimate price to secure our freedom, because their love is like our Lord’s. When Jesus faces death on Calvary’s cross to save humanity, He says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)”
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 KJV
Jesus leads the spiritual army, and conquers the ultimate battle—and in the process, secures for us eternal life.
It is worthy of a national pause to thank God for the United States’ armed forces, who have followed in the footsteps of Commander Jesus by giving their lives to save ours.
Thank You Lord, for our fallen heroes, for they have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep America free.
Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day, and established as a national observance by General John A. Logan in May 1868.
Copyright © 2019: All rights reserved: Fallen Heroes: VineWords: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name, Diane Virginia: http://www.vinewords.net/fallen-heroes/memorial day devotion
Published: May 25, 2019: 1.6k+ shares: Christian Broadcasting Network: Senior Editor Beth Patch: Internet Ministries Producer: http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/fallen-heroes