Memorial Day is a time to remember those who’ve died in the service of our country. It can and should also be a day that we give honor and thanks to those who continue to volunteer in military service.
I’ve never served in the military, but I’m proud to say that both of my younger sisters have. My sister Amanda served in the United States Army with her husband and my sister Christina served in the United States Air Force. Now, officially discharged, Christina still serves as an Air Force reservist.
Like most people who join the military, my sisters had options; they didn’t have to volunteer for military service, they chose to. My brother-in-law has completed more than three tours in the Middle East and every time I pray my heart out that he makes it back for both my sister and my niece. Remember, it’s not only soldiers who sacrifice when they volunteer–their families sacrifice as well.
Honoring our soldiers–veterans, those still serving and those who have fallen–isn’t about agreeing with governments or wars. It’s about recognizing that there are people out there who are willing to sacrifice their lives for ours. In light of this deserved honor, here are some Scriptures to read and/or pray over for military families this weekend.
- Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor (Romans 13:7).
- The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).
- The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot (Proverbs 10:7).
- Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones (Psalm 116:15).
- Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
- Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Those are just a few Scriptures you can read or pray for people this weekend. There are also many poems honoring military service and fallen soldiers; you may even choose to ask your pastor if you can read a poem or share a Scripture on Sunday morning. I know at my church we will be singing “America the Beautiful” and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Remember, some families may be grieving over recent losses of loved ones who’ve served in the military and some may be gripped with worry and fear that their loved ones won’t make it home. Be gracious, compassionate, loving, full of honor and respect for the sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families. Tell a soldier “thank you” this weekend. Most of all, be supportive of their choice to volunteer as a sacrifice for the continued protection of the people and freedom of the United States of America.
How can you honor soldiers this Memorial Day?
I’ll leave you with this final verse from the Star Spangled Banner:
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! (Francis Scott Key, 1814)