Memorial Day: A Day for Gratitude



“I have not stopped giving thanks for you…”

Ephesians 1: 16a



We often think of Memorial Day as:

  • A day for loading up on hotdogs and funnel cake
  • A day for camping and hiking
  • A day to celebrate the launch of summer

Instead, would you consider making it the following:

  • A day to remember
  • A day to acknowledge our freedom to work, play, hike, and, yes, eat more than we should.
  • A day to remember those who died so we could live

Our U.S. Constitution grants us freedom to speak, worship, bear arms, assemble, vote, own property, and a host of others so common to us, it’s unfathomable they could ever have been up for debate.

Of course we can disagree. This is America!

Of course we can criticize our leaders. This is America!

Of course we can worship wherever and however we choose.  This is America!

These rights and freedoms are only common to us because uncommon men and women of courage and conviction decided to stand up and step out.

The Founders first had the audacity to declare independence and claim freedom for all. At the time, it was unfathomable that commoners could possibly govern themselves.

It was revolutionary thinking that brought on a bloody revolution.

It’s easy to write out words on paper. The hard part is the bloody part. The going-to-war-to-make-it-reality part.  And each generation since the Founders time has done their part, sacrificing their lives to keep the words on paper reality.

War is ugly. It is horrific. It devastates families and changes lives forever. But it is also sometimes necessary to keep freedom a reality.

Memorial Day is our annual reminder that we live free because someone else died. Our liberty was purchased with the life of an American soldier. Apart from that sacrifice, the King Georges, Hitlers, Mussolinis, Saddam Husseins, Kim Jong-uns, and Bin Ladens of the world would win.

So – yes.  Eat your hot dog and enjoy the fireworks on Memorial Day. But please also take a moment to remember and to be grateful.

Let us not stop giving thanks for those who gave their lives so we could live ours in freedom.

Laura Macfarlan


A repost from