Death doesn’t take memories away

As a young child during World War II, I vividly remember the pain and sacrifice of a war. My grandmother lived by the highway and the railroad tracks. Granny and I spent many hours waving to troop trains and army caravans.

“They are giving their lives for us,” Granny would say through misty eyes. “Some will not come back.”

I remember rationing stamps, defense stamp corsages, victory gardens and the slogan “Loose lips sink ships.”

Patriotism abounded. Men and women went off to war to keep America free from tyranny. Growing up in a small town made me acutely aware of the boy down the street or classmates in high school who said their last good-byes to loved ones.

We have had wars since then, and our military is sent again to keep us safe. Let us be grateful. In remembrance let’s honor those who have gone on before us. Tell our children what it’s all about. The importance of younger generations knowing and appreciating the principals that have made America great cannot be measured. This is the essence of Memorial Day, honoring those who made America “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Let us also remember the multiplied millions who suffer from the hands of selfish leaders who torture untold people. Remember those who are oppressed from enemies within and without.

I think of firemen, policemen and others who put their lives on the line every day.

Love and unselfishness are displayed in their truest form. I am so grateful for these brave men and women, and I want them to know how much we care.

The memories of loved ones will always be cherished, too. Passing the cemetery prioritizes my life. It makes me stop and think, “What is really important today?” The stress of daily pressures becomes secondary as I realize this day is a gift. In this life the real givers are the winners in this world. “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39 KJV).

It is hard to see the way clear when one is going through the valley, but even in the darkest night we are not alone … “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).

Death will never take the memories away. I am filled with the hope of seeing loved ones again. The grave is not “good-bye,” but just “so long for now.”

Whenever I recount my memorials and the many things the Lord has brought me through, how can I help but sing about his goodness and mercy? I will remember every day the price Jesus paid by his death on the cross, and I will thank him for that great sacrifice.

On Memorial Day I will honor those who have made their heavenly flight:

Death is not the end. It seems so final now.

A loved one is in the grave. We must carry on somehow.

That dear one left the body for a better place.

No more tears or pain, they’ll see the Master’s face.