Commemorating Memorial Day 2020 amid the COVID-19 crisis is certainly going to look and feel different than in years past. Observed annually on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is an American holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Traditionally, Americans visit cemeteries or war memorials, celebrate as communities with parades, and gather with friends and family for backyard barbecues.
Before COVID-19, Memorial Day marked the unofficial beginning of summer with many people flocking to nearby lakes and beaches or traveling somewhere for vacation or a weekend getaway to celebrate the holiday. This year, travel experts are predicting record lows and although many beaches around the country are open, not many people are comfortable going to them.
Memorial Day usually means auto racing featuring the Indy 500. But not this year. The Indy 500, considered the world’s oldest currently operated car race, has been rescheduled for August. However, NASCAR is running the Charlotte 600 on Sunday, but without any fans present in person to view the big race.
Churches around the country can meet, but many are erring on the side of caution and choosing to hold off gathering in person for a few more weeks. So some people are holding house church featuring backyard food and fellowship and of course, social distancing.
There’s no sound of cracking bats or cheering fans as baseball stadiums remain empty.
Starting as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began in the late 1860s after the end of the Civil War required the establishment of America’s first national cemeteries. The Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and communities everywhere sought to honor and remember their fallen soldiers. Their graves were decorated with flowers and people received prayers.
With the onset of World War I, Memorial Day evolved from a day that honored those who fought and died in the American Civil War to a time of honoring all the American soldiers who died on battlefields during World War I and World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. One lesson America has learned repeatedly as a nation is that freedom isn’t free. It requires defending and it demands sacrifice.
Read one of my previous Memorial Day blog posts here.
At 3:00 p.m. local time, on Monday, May 25, 2020, take a moment to pause, remember, and pray for those who died to secure your opportunity to live in freedom. Today, amid COVID-19, we are at a crossroads in our nation, desperately balancing public health with our hard-fought freedoms. There are few easy choices and we’re bound to make a few bad decisions along the way. With great freedom comes even greater responsibility. Freedom doesn’t mean that there is any lack of accountability. But—we’re still free to choose, to live, and to make mistakes. And I’d much rather have the freedom to be wrong than to be told what I’m to believe is right. Long may you run, America. Long may you run.
Please be sure and check out my Memorial Day prayer.
I believe that to experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has made this gift available to all who ask.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”