Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 29, 2016

a day of significance

Today’s article is dedicated to my late father-in-law, Albert Flinner and to the memory of all those who have given the last full measure of devotion in serving our country.

Memorials mean different things to different people.  My father-in-law was a highly decorated war veteran, having received a silver star with oak leaf cluster, a purple heart and five bronze stars.  He was a true war hero.  He knew what it meant, and took, to put his life on the line for his country.  When Memorial Day came each year, he really understood its significance.  Having never served in the military, I can easily look at this special day as just a holiday and miss its significance.

One particular Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I were with some friends for dinner.  Before giving thanks for the meal, the host said he was wearing a red shirt in honor of all those who had given their lives for our freedom.  It caused me to pause because of his sensitivity to what I was looking at as just a holiday weekend.  He got the significance of the price that bought our freedom.  Later that night the same gentleman read an email detailing the incredible devotion of the men and women who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Today, our President will lay a wreath at that very tomb.  The email detailed the unyielding commitment of all those who stand guard (it has been guarded every second of every day since 1937).  Those who guard the tomb willingly give up personal comfort to live with discipline, precision and self-sacrifice for a cause they regard as greater than themselves.  Without a doubt, they understand the significance of the sacrifice which provides all of us freedom on this Memorial Day.  The creed that these dedicated men and women live by is below; What devotion!  It is called The Sentinel’s Creed:

My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well-meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.
– Simon 1971

To give you a picture of their dedication, I want to share with you what happened in 2004 as reported by ABC news.  Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC.  Because of the impending danger from the storm, the military members assigned guard duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend their assignment.  They respectfully declined saying, “No way, Sir!”  Soaked to the skin and marching through a terrific storm, these soldiers said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, but the highest honor afforded a service person. They understood the significance of what bought our freedom.

Remembering my father-in-law’s sacrifice, gleaning from my friend’s sensitivity and learning of the dedication of those guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier have made this Memorial Day more meaningful for me.  I will not let its significance pass me by today.  What about you?  Flags will fly, parades will take place, and a wreath will be placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, representing to all of us the price of our freedom.  It will be a significant day!

There is another tomb which we should honor today … an empty one.  All Christ-followers are soldiers who were given their freedom by the Savior who rose from that tomb.  Can it be said of you and me that our dedication matches that of The Sentinel’s Creed?  Will we choose to march amid the fierce storms of our testing and trials?  Let us renew our understanding and experience of the significance of this national holiday and this day that the Lord has made.  So many have died for our earthly freedom, and One has died for the freedom which is eternal.  If you have believed in Jesus, confessed that you are a sinner and received the gift of His forgiveness, this day of memorial is an occasion to thank and praise Him for what He did for you.  If you have not, don’t let the sun set on this Memorial Day without believing, confessing and receiving.  It is a significant day!

SPECIAL NOTE:  We at Journey onWord would like to say a very sincere and special thank you to each and every one of our readers who have served and fought for our freedom.

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