Faith Lift: In the service.
I heard about a little boy that refused to go into the worship service. When his parents asked him why, he pointed to the plaque with the names of those who had died in the service. He didn’t want to be next.
Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day. After the American Civil War in 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions merged and Memorial Day was extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
This Memorial Day Anne and I took the opportunity to visit the gravesite of my parents. There we posted a small USA flag in honor of my father, Kenneth Porter Gill, a transplant from his native Pittsburgh who joined the Army Air Corp from Houston. For his training he was stationed at Shepherd Base in Wichita Falls. One Sunday during his training he went to worship at East Side Presbyterian and, as was their habit, the Kidds invited him to come to their house for Sunday lunch.
My father met my mother because he went to the service when he was… in the service.
They wrote letters back and forth during the war and were married after it.
This Memorial Day at my parent’s grave site we placed a flag in honor of my father who survived the War, and said a prayer remembering him and my mother’s brother, Mack Kidd, who didn’t. He was a tail gunner who was shot down and was buried in Italy. In honor of my mother we placed on her marker a leftover Red Nose from Red Nose Day. If you knew her you would know that she would have loved a day like that. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” Memorial Day is a day when we give thanks for those who laid down their lived for their friends, families, their country. Unlike Veteran’s Day when we honor all who have answered the call to be in the service, Memorial Day is the day when we honor those who answered the call and not only laid down their lives but lost them…in the service.