We were in Israel over their Memorial Day. In fact we had just landed and were driving north to the Galilee. At precisely 11 am our driver pulled over to the side of the road (as did all the other vehicles), we got out and stood for 3 minutes of silence remembering all those who lost their lives fighting for Israel.
At the very heart of Israel’s culture is the word “remember”. Moses “reminded” the children of Israel how God led them out of Egypt with His mighty outstretched arm. Before going in to the Promised Land Joshua reminded them of the same thing. When the Priests crossed the flooded Jordan on dry land God told them to set up 12 stones as a memorial. When their children saw them and asked about them they were told how God had dried up the waters so their parents/grandparents could cross on dry ground and that all the earth would know that the hand of God is mighty.
When you see a Jewish cemetery it is not uncommon to see stones piled on top of the monuments. These are memorial stones, placed there in memory of the one who died. At Yad Veshem you see statues erected to memorialize the holocaust victims and at the bottom are carefully placed stones.
Still today it is not uncommon to see soldiers at significant sights all over Israel like Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum) the Western Wall, in the Old City and many other places. This is part of their training to help them to “remember” why they fight for the state of Israel and what God has done for them in the past.
No matter how painful it may be, there is something to be said for intentionally remembering. In the pain of remembering also lives validation, healing and strength, ability to move into the future and protection from repeating the same mistakes.
Remembering those who died serving their country; family and friends who have passed away, acts of God, destructions of man, God’s deliverance and His provisions help us to understand why things are what they are.
History is also important to instill a sense of nationalism into its citizens. “Make em proud” to live in a certain country. I think we could learn something from Israel’s practice of remembering. Perhaps we should implement a similar show of respect and honor. Some are suggesting you stop at noon on Memorial Day to remember those who lost their lives serving our country and also to pray for the troops. I personally think it is a great idea.
Why not begin your journey of remembrance this Memorial Day Weekend. In fact on Monday at noon take time wherever you are to stop and remember those who lost their lives for our country, also pray for our troops to remember why they are fighting.
While you are remembering how about dropping a note/email/facebook message/text/Tweet etc. to someone who has lost a loved one while serving their country. Encourage others to do so as well!
Robyn Harrison, Tristyn Harris, Jan and Don Priddy –
We will never forget PFC Jonathan Hall! — > https://goo.gl/jY46xd