Memorial Day

By Pastor Mark  Hopper

My wife and I visited Arlington Cemetery with our children many years ago.  It is a vast area outside of Washington, D.C., where thousands of military veterans are buried.   It is one of the best known cemeteries in our country.  Both Privates and Presidents are buried there.

Our family has also visited the military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  A bloody military battle was fought at Gettysburg during our nation’s Civil War in 1863.  The headstones list the names of each soldier and the states where these fallen veterans were from.

About ten years ago, my son and I had the opportunity to visit the beaches of Normandy, France.  This was the location of the largest amphibious invasion in history.  Troops from Canada, England, America, Australia, New Zealand and other allied nations came ashore to begin the liberation of occupied Western Europe.

Above the wide sandy beach is the American military cemetery.  My son and I walked through the endless rows of Crosses and Stars of David that mark each burial plot.  It is a stark reminder of the high price that was paid by American soldiers and sailors to secure a beachhead in France in 1944.  The war in Europe ended a year later.

Did you know that there are also military veteran cemeteries here in Southern California?  There is a National Cemetery in West Los Angeles and another in Riverside.  There are also military cemeteries in San Diego.

All of these cemeteries are dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served in our nation’s military.  Some of these people died in battle.   Many more survived their military service and have been buried in a veteran’s cemetery at the end of their lives.

On the last Monday in May, our nation celebrates Memorial Day to honor and remember the men and women who lost their lives serving in our nation’s military.  It is a day to reflect on the lives that have been lost and the price that has been paid to defend our nation’s freedom.

Someone said that “freedom is not free.” The freedoms that we enjoy everyday are a result of the sacrifice of men and women who have served in our nation’s military.

During the last few days in May, you will see American flags in many local cemeteries.  Thousands of volunteers from various service organizations give their time to place American flags on the graves of military veterans.

I hope that you will pause and reflect on what these flags represent.  Take a moment to remember those who have served in our nation’s military.  Take a moment to appreciate the sacrifice of those who died in military service.

 

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM

Efreedb.org