Today we celebrate Memorial Day. The day when we take time to remember our fallen military heroes and to say thank you for their sacrifice. Many people this weekend may visit a cemetery to place flowers on the grave of one of their loved ones who died in our nation’s wars or other military actions.
In some places, like Arlington National Cemetery, or the National Mall in Washington, DC, or even here in St. Louis at our Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery there will be a sea of crosses. It is a sobering sight to be sure. This is a day about gratitude and remembrance…a day honoring the men and women who made it possible for us to have freedom and live in peace. It’s the day when we Americans can stand up say, “Thank you” to those who paid the ultimate price in service to this country.
It’s also the time when many families come together and have picnics or attend parades, enjoy a barbeque, or open pools to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. With what has happened in our nation most recently, the senseless shooting of innocent children at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, I can only imagine what some families will be doing this Memorial Day weekend. Our hearts grieve and mourn with them for the tragic loss of innocent lives. Many of us have joined prayer vigils to be in solidarity with the people of Uvalde.
Amid all the violence we continue to see in our nation we are in great need of communion with one another. Not just the contact we might have with friends through social media, but the deeper kind of communion that roots us together in God. It’s the kind of communion that is a profound mystery and yet what people crave and desperately need. We are one Body of Christ.
When one part of that body is deeply wounded, hurt, we all are. So whether we are visiting a cemetery or taking part in a public memorial, or enjoying our families and friends this Memorial Day, let’s be in communion with the families in Uvalde, let’s remember those who gave their lives in service to our country, and most of all, let’s remember Whose we are…the Body of Christ…and give thanks remembering that Jesus promised to be with us always, until the end of time.
Blessings to each of you!
Barbara McMullen, CDP