Remembering with Gratitude

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Memorial Day approaches

By George Smith

Memorial Day is more than just another holiday, a day off from work, a cook out with family and friends, or a trip to the lake. This weekend is time to remember people. We remember them in two ways: in death and in life.
Originally, Memorial Day started with the remembrance of those who died in war. More than 1 million Americans have died in wars. Because of their ultimate sacrifice, we have the freedom to vote for our leaders, debate over issues, poke fun at officials and freedom to worship or not to worship. But freedom has never been free, so we remember.    
This weekend flags will mark the graves of our fallen heroes. A grateful nation will remember their beloved dead. Patriotic speeches will be given. Groups will reaffirm allegiance to “old glory.” May we be among those who remember and are grateful.
Memorial Day was changed to include all those who have died. So we recall our loved ones who have gone before. 
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).
This weekend we need to remember not only those who have gone on, but we need to remember people who are alive. We need to remember them in any form that shows we care about them. 
“Each of us should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).  “Serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).  “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (Galatians 6:9-10). 
The worst forgetfulness of all is to forget people. God put us here for others.
Build memories for the future. All of us have memories of our deceased relatives: parents, grandparents, etc. whether they are good, bad or otherwise. But for us, why not live in such a way that our children and grandchildren will have wonderful memories on future Memorial Days?