Memorial Day was instated so that Americans would always remember those who sacrificed their lives in battle for the freedom of others. But I say it is for more than just those who died in battle against America’s foreign enemies. America’s military consists of more than just the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. There is also the Coast Guard, the Reserves, and the National Guard. There is federal law enforcement like the FBI, NSA, ICE, ATF, DEA, Homeland, and others. Then there are the foreign security and intelligence services like the CIA, DIA, GEOINT, NRO, Secret Service, and more. There are still more who serve in state, county, and local governments as law enforcement, firefighting, and rescue services from State Patrol to County Sheriffs to local police and fire/rescue. In all of these organizations, men and women serve and sacrifice for the benefit of others, to come to their aid in times of crisis whether attacked by terrorists or criminals, suffering from accidents or disasters, or medical crises. Whether it is Nazis, Communists, or Fascists overseas or here at home, whether it is enemy armies, terrorists, criminals on the streets, or natural disasters, they rush into danger for strangers in need. America’s military exists to serve the safety and welfare of the good people of the United States and extend that aid to much of the world.
The Armed Forces of the United States serve the nation abroad, but they train at home. Training for a violent and dangerous profession requires danger and, despite their best efforts, accidents happen. Those who die in training accidents are no less heroes to be memorialized than those who die in battle. There are also countless thousands of soldiers that die in accidents overseas even when not in combat. Plus there are multitudes that die of disease and medical conditions exacerbated by the stress of their professions. Firemen die of heart attacks and get cancers and lung diseases from the toxic gases their breath. In pre-20th century times more soldiers died of disease than battle, yet they served and died because they were there. Memorial Day is to remember all of them, not just those who died on the beaches of Normandy or in the jungles of Vietnam.
Likewise, state and local governments are just smaller versions of the federal government that enlist the service of those willing to risk their lives to help others in their communities. Police and fire personnel are as equally at risk as the military, except they are not only at risk in battle during times of war, but all the time, every day. Police never know when someone is going to shoot at them. Firefighters never know when a burning building will collapse or explode. Paramedics, as well as fire and police, racing through the streets put themselves at risk. For every fireman killed in a fire or policeman shot there is one killed in a traffic accident. Paramedics are also not immune from being shot at or stabbed by psychotics. But all of them accept those risks to come to the help of those in distress.
All of these people, men and women, from the Armed Forces, to law enforcement, to rescue services, constitute the United States Military Services. Each branch of the military actually includes branches of law enforcement and rescue services within them. They are often the training grounds for those who seek careers in local governments continuing the same profession. America’s military serves people in the nation and around the world coming to their aid. It has been the U.S. military that has gone to the aid of foreign nations in time of war and disaster for the past century, not to conquer and control, but to liberate and save. For that, the world owes America and her people their gratitude and respect, and her citizens owe them the respect of honoring the flag, the anthem, and the pledge. But as the good Christian peoples they are none expect it, especially from those who resent America and her patriots. But that will never stop them from providing that service, giving aid, and taking the risks, without requiring compensation or expecting thanks.
America is truly the land of the free and home of the brave.
[Author’s Note: This is a message to celebrate the heroes who have made the ultimate in service to others. This day is only for America as the leading Christian nation that has led all others in that service and sacrifice. It is not to dwell on the tiny percentage of corruption that occurs, nor to honor those who have dishonored the services, nor to elevate tyrants and oppressors. This is only to illuminate America’s heroes who have lived up to the calling of Christ – that greater love has no man than that he give up his life for his friend.]