Isaiah 57: 1-2
1The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous are taken away from calamity,
2 and they enter into peace; those who walk uprightly
will rest on their couches.
Today we remember those who fought and died for the interests of America. Today families all over the world are hurting because of loved ones who didn’t come home. Today many Americans will go to beaches and BBQ. Today many veterans will pour libations for comrades lost but not forgotten.
Unfortunately, we may not all agree with or be proud of the conflicts that took our soldiers’s lives. However, we should all be able to agree that these lives were lost in service to others. These people died so that others may live. This reason alone is enough to honor and celebrate them. In fact, only a few verses prior to Isaiah 57:1-2, Isaiah calls the wicked selfish people who seek their own gain “…dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain”(Isa. 56:11). Regardless of any politics tied to the military engagements, our soldiers died and their sacrifices were selfless and noble.
I’m stressing this because I heard something disappointing this weekend. The neighboring towns in my county are consolidating their Memorial Day parades due to lack of attendance. This information made me confront an embarrassing fact. It’s been 12 years since I’ve attended an Memorial Day event that actually honored fallen soldiers. In that time period, I’ve been to festivals, cookouts, beaches, and golf courses. Nothing is wrong with any of these events. However, Isaiah tells us that far too often righteous deaths are ignored and forgotten.
Moving forward, let us endeavor to keep the memory of those fallen alive in our hearts, our lives, and in our communities. Why? Because the reasons these soldiers died are noble and important to remember. These soldiers died for freedom and equality.
They died for:
* Gender equality
* Racial equality
* Religious equality
* Economic equality
* Sexual equality
* Ethnic equality
They died so that Americans from all walks of life and backgrounds can equally feel the freedom to just BE!