As we celebrate this weekend, I wanted to reflect on some history concerning Memorial Day. Originally Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. It's a day of remembering those who have given their lives in service for the United States of America. The city called Waterloo, New York was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966.
Today Memorial Day is an American Holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Many Americans observe this day by visiting cemeteries, memorials, holding family gatherings and attending many parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of summer.
A personal friend of mine that grew up in the local Christian School, who was also involved in our local youth group, paid the ultimate price for freedom. I received this news over a 11 years ago from his family.
"The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sergeant Daniel G. Gresham, 23, of Lincoln, Illinois, died February 24, 2005, in Camp Wilson, Iraq, when a second improvised explosive device detonated while he was responding to a first device. Gresham was assigned to the 797th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 79th Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance, Fort Sam Houston, Texas."
This weekend, as we cook on our grills and enjoy a day off work, please remember to be thankful for those who have given their lives for us to enjoy our freedom. I will never forget this young man, Daniel, and what he has done for our country.
"Blessed be the Lord my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle -
My loving kindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge."
Psalm 144:1-2a NKJV