Lest We Forget

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I pray to Jesus for peace each night with the same breath that asks God to watch over all soldiers and keep them safe. If not for the efforts of military, I would not be at this computer right now typing with no feeling of threat to my religious freedoms. Yet the thought of war sickens me to my inner core.

We have the freedom to worship today because of the men and women of our military. The question now becomes what sacrifice will we make for those who come after us? What will our legacy be to future generations?

After World War II, W. H. Auden wrote two lines which he called “Epitaph for the Unknown Soldier.”

“To save your world, you asked this man to die:

  Would this man, could he see you now ask why?”

The sights and sounds of Memorial Day call upon us to make sure the unknown soldier doesn’t ask why. They call upon us to live a life of service to others.

The most common biblical phrase in the Bible is some derivative of “remember this, lest you forget.” This is why we need Memorial Day. ”Lest we forget.” Lest we forget the cost of this freedom. Lest we forget the character of those who confront evil. Lest we forget to be grateful for all that has been done for us. Lest we forget that we are called to live lives of heroism and sacrifice and service, as did those whose names are etched in such places as the black stone of the Vietnam Memorial.

As we pray for military and soldiers everywhere, let us pray to Jesus who craves peace, mercy, compassion, and justice for all creation. “Lest we forget.”

Still in one peace,

David J. Jensen

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