by Sarah Brock
O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. Amen.
Collect for Heroic Service, The Book of Common Prayer
How will you choose to observe Memorial Day today? Will you celebrate your liberties with shopping and barbecues? Will you visit the grave of someone who died serving our country? Will you remember by spending time with a survivor, witnessing to their time in combat and grieving with them over the loss of comrades and friends?
For many, this holiday is deeply personal. Today, many will remember and honor the lives of wives and sisters, husbands and brothers, mothers, fathers, cousins, or friends. Carrying the weight of grief, some may share memories, others will abide in silence.
For others, this holiday is less connected. It carries a detached sense of gratitude without the sting of personal loss. For some of us, Memorial Day carries a celebratory tone rejoicing in the liberties attained with a shallower understanding of the sacrifices made along the way.
Whichever camp you find yourself in today, or perhaps somewhere in the grey area between, I hope you will find a moment to witness to the lives that were lost. Whether by listening to the stories of someone who remembers the fallen or spending a few moments in silence to honor what cannot be spoken. Or perhaps you have your own way of remembering the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.
However you choose to observe Memorial Day, I hope you’ll find yourself rejuvenated. I hope it will ready you to continue the work that our country’s fallen service women and men have courageously begun. I hope it will bring you renewed energy to work for true freedom and peace for all humanity.
Sarah Brock is becoming a postulant for holy orders in the Diocese of Massachusetts and lives in Boston.
Image Credit: Season of Remembrance Begins, photo Wikimedia