Why Is It Important to Remember Memorial Day?

By Quint Pitts, National Welcome Home Director

The author of Hebrews dedicates an entire chapter to remembering those who had gone before him. Hebrews 11 is often called the Bible Hall of Fame because the author names men and women who have left a legacy of sacrifice and faith.

Our nation sets aside one day each year to remember those who have gone before us; those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Why? Why is it important that Memorial Day be more than just the mark of summer’s arrival, barbecues, and picnics? Why is it important for us to pause and remember the men and women of the armed forces who died preserving our freedom?

You may recall that Jesus specifically instructed his followers to remember his sacrifice during the communion meal. “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‛This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me'” (Luke 22:19 NIV). Jesus wants us to remember continuously what he did for our spiritual freedom. Why? Why communion? Why Memorial Day?

I can think of four good reasons to remember:

1. To express our gratitude.

2. To make the sacrifice meaningful.

3. To prepare ourselves for future sacrifice.

4. Because God remembers.

A Marine Corps battalion commander once told his chaplain, “Your job is to make sure these young marines know that God hasn’t forgotten them.” Good advice. Of course, he was referring to living marines rather than those who had died in service. But as the song says, “All gave some, some gave all.” To those who gave some, we offer: Welcome Home.

The Welcome Home initiative of Celebrate Recovery combines all four of these reasons to remember in order to reach out to living veterans who made it back. And Memorial Day weekend is a great time to launch a Welcome Home group at your local Celebrate Recovery.