If you’re of a certain age, you may recall hearing Memorial Day called by another name, Decoration Day. And if the old-timers who mentioned it had their stories straight, the term originated as a call to decorate the graves of fallen veterans and evolved into a day to lay flowers on the graves of departed family.
As a child, I loved the expansion of Memorial Day from an occasion to honor America’s war dead to a time to cherish family who passed ahead. Shockingly, nobody in our family had died in a war, but I cherished the stories of ancestors long gone.
On Memorial Day 2021, let us expand this moment yet again. May we honor veterans who, through many generations, died for our freedom. But may we also revere those whose passing tore our souls. May we resolve to create a society safe for all who follow them in similar circumstances. Let us honor …
- Veterans who fought our wars to preserve democracy.
- Family who loved and shaped us.
- Heroes whose courageous souls and generous spirits moved our nation toward justice.
- 591,000 U.S. lives — and 3.5 million people worldwide — lost to COVID-19.
- Black lives lost to police brutality.
- Police officers who sacrificed their lives attempting to preserve peace.
- Migrants who died seeking safety and security for their families.
- Asian-Americans and others targeted because of their racial minority status.
May we remember that God creates all people in God’s own image. May we strive to understand, respect and empathize with others, protecting their precious lives. May we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. May we realize how we love them directly reflects how we love God.
Marv Knox serves as coordinator of Fellowship Southwest and is a former longtime editor of the Texas Baptist Standard. He and his wife, Joanna, live in Coppell, Texas.