With Jon Vallier

Misunderstanding Memorial Day

Memoria Day

Is it just me, or is Memorial Day often misunderstood?

Growing up, I was under the impression it was about a three-day-weekend, the pool opening and nature agreeing to provide perfect grilling weather. As I grew older, I began to understood it had a special meaning to veterans. As a pastor having served on multiple church staffs, we would receive requests to publically acknowledge the vets in the congregation on those Sundays. 

Now don't get me wrong. There's nothing "wrong" with any of that. However, over the years I've listened as different military veterans comment that we (civilians) really don't get it. Memorial Day is exactly that, a memorial for those soldiers who have fallen. As I listened to it being explained, I felt very humbled, and rather ignorant, for misunderstanding the holiday despite its rather obvious name. I did take a small amount of consolation knowing that I certainly wasn't alone in my confusion. I mean the whole country seems to be under the same delusion about the holiday. 

As I've pondered this, I've begun to wonder is it as much a misunderstanding of the holiday as it is an apprehension when it comes to death? After all, we don't have a lot of ways in our culture to honor the dead. Frankly, we don't have a lot of ways of dealing with death in our culture period. So this Memorial Day before firing up the grill, consider opening your old copy of the Holy Bible and ponder a passage like Psalm 116:15 and remember that moments of somber thankfulness are good for the soul.