Thursday, May 24, 2012
All of us, to some degree, are familiar with sacrifice. Some may be sacrificing their favorite foods to lose a few pounds before a beach trip. Some sacrifice physical comfort to train for a marathon or just get back into shape. If you are raising children, or have raised your children, you certainly have a grasp of the concept of sacrifice.
Sacrifice involves giving up something; that is the essence of sacrifice. Giving up chocolate or some other food to lose a few pounds involves sacrifice. Sweating through a long run, having to push through the wall of pain, involves sacrifice. We give up time, treasure, and tears for our children. For most of us, our daily existence involves some sort of sacrifice.
Our sacrifices, although important, do not involve the totality of our being. I am not going to die by giving up some rich food to lose a few pounds. My desire to run one more mile is not going to kill me. And the sacrifices that I make for my children may cost me some sleep. They have certainly cost me some money. Yet I will wake in the morning and go about my daily affairs unimpeded.
There are those, however, who have sacrificed all. They have done so throughout the history of this nation so that you and I are free to chose to lose those pounds, run those miles, or raise our families in the way we want.
Our glorious freedom was won, defended, and has been preserved to this day by the sacrifice of valiant men and women who without hesitation stood in the breach against those who would try to destroy those freedoms.
Their sacrifice did not take a piece of their life, it consumed them.
This Memorial Day is a call to each of us to recognize that for many, sacrifice was not trivial or short lived. It was final.
The small white crosses on the manicured grounds of cemeteries around the country belie the magnitude of the sacrifice of those they honor. Our response to those that have sacrificed all for us is to honor them, thank them, and remember the sacrifice they have made for each of us.
On this Memorial Day, we as a free people lift our sacrifice of praise to to those who have preserved and given all for our freedom.