Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. - Psalm 146:3

Heroes we honor

By Paul Bawden

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2024, we pause to remember our fallen heroes.

We take time to honor the brave and selfless men and women of the U.S. military who have given the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives to preserve our freedoms in America. Initially called Decoration Day, it became Memorial Day by Federal Law in 1967, and it was made an official holiday on the last Monday in May.

Memorial Day will be filled with ceremonies and memorials across the country in memory of our fallen heroes. Flags will fly at half-staff.

At Arlington National Cemetery, a ceremony will be held at the Amphitheater with the President speaking. The National Memorial Day Parade, hosted by the American Veterans Center, will take place on Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. at 2 p.m. The parade will be broadcast live.

There will be a series of events to honor the nation’s prisoners of war and missing-in-action taking place over Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C. The “Rolling To Remember” rally will conclude with a ride by thousands of bikers on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The motorcycle demonstration ride, hosted by AMVETS, is also a call for action to prevent veteran suicides.

The 27th annual Memorial Day Program by Military Women’s Memorial will take place Monday, May 27, 2024, from 3-5 p.m. at Memorial Avenue and Schley Drive in Arlington, Virginia.

Following the National Moment of Remembrance established by Congress in 2000, at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, Americans are encouraged to pause for a moment of silence to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who have died in service to their country.

Certainly, that reflection should cause us to be forever grateful for those who have given their lives so we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

That reflection should also bring to mind that we can never take our freedom in America for granted. Why? Freedom is not free. It comes with a cost. Why? There are those who would take away our freedom and establish their dictatorial rule. That means evil exists, and evil must be confronted and defeated, which to do so can cost human lives to maintain and keep our freedom.

Sad to say, there are some in the U.S.A. who are using the freedoms they have to destroy the very freedoms they enjoy. They don’t realize the price that was paid for their freedom, and that anarchy played out can lead to dictatorship where one’s freedoms are greatly curtailed.

In the final analysis, then, freedom is a spiritual matter. It’s a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Unless the good prevails, evil triumphs and we lose our freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

That’s why Jesus Christ talked about where true freedom lies, not in us but in Him. That’s why He said that knowing Him personally, the believer is free indeed (John 3:36) – free from the penalty of sin; free from the dictates of selfishness, pride, hatred, immorality, and jealousy; free to love unconditionally, sacrificially, with forgiveness; free to live in peace with one another, with the hope of someday living in eternity with Him forever.

On Memorial Day, we are forever grateful for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We honor our heroes who have given us the privilege to live in a free country, and the freedom to live for Christ, who gave the eternal sacrifice for our sins, so that we might live free in Him.

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.


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