Monday is Memorial Day, a national holiday in our nation. It is a day that as a country we traditionally remember those who fought and died for the freedoms we have. It is remembered through parades, visiting cemeteries and on a national level, a visit to the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers by the president or vice-president.
The tomb is an interesting concept to me. It is a monument, a memorial to unknown individuals. Not unimportant: after all they are individuals whose lives were ended so that we as a nation could continue to more forward. But unknown. There isn’t a simple white cross, a flat brass plate in the ground or a makeshift wooden cross somewhere with their name on it. They are unknown.
As time marches forward like a parade coming down the street, changes occur. Parades are one of those things that change. There are still some parades around, but they seem less attended and less important than they did when I was growing up. The school band would march down the street, some floats came along and best of all for the kids--the fire trucks would turn their siren on to the delight of us all. But changes occur.
Probably for most the change is about the emphases of the day. What was at one point a solemn remembrance has become a day off school or work. A day for back yard cookouts and if the weather is good enough, a trip to the beach or pool. It is even considered the official start of summer. So the day, as many things do with time, has changed.
But my thoughts go back to those unknown soldiers, specifically the unknown part of that. To us they are unknown, but to God they are not. They are very known by Him. In the midst of telling us to not worry, Jesus tell us that the very hairs on our head are numbered (Matthew 10:30). Whether this is literal or figurative, the meaning is the same: you are important to God and He knows you intimately. On those days when everything is going great, you are not forgotten. And on those days when things, well, aren’t going so great, you are not forgotten. The unknown soldier is not unknown to God, nor are you.
So whatever you are doing this Memorial Day. It may be watching a parade go by, hoping the fire truck sounds it siren right as it passes you (or not). You may be enjoying the delicious burger, dog, brat or other foods flavorfully cooked on the grill. Maybe you’ll take a dip in the lake or pool, if mother nature cooperates. You might stop by a cemetery to put flowers on the grave of someone known by you. Take a step back, take a deep breath and realize you are not forgotten, but loved dearly, by our Heavenly Father.