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On This Memorial Day

May 30, 2010

I am grateful today for our armed forces, past and present, who have given their lives to protect America and the great freedoms she has enjoyed.  Today we memorialize their sacrifice for the cause of liberty. Memorials are good, but just remembering is not sufficient. Gratitude is good, although gratitude is still not enough. So, then, what is it that fulfills our responsibility as grateful citizens? It is the  personal and individual expression of our citizenship in dedication to those same principles and protected freedoms for which our servicemen have given their lives. As citizens of the freest nation on earth, as we memorialize our heroes, we must also dedicate ourselves to the preservation and continuation of our American ideals–ideals that reach back into time immemorial, past God’s finger applied to stone tablets, on to the earliest  of days as God created man in His own image. Liberty in law was given birth even as Adam’s nostrils were filled with the Breath of Life. Freedom is not just to be appreciated, freedom is to be lived. All mankind yearns to breathe free.

Nearly 150 years ago, Lincoln’s immortal and inspired words rang across the bloody battlefield  and burial grounds of Gettysburg during his brief dedicatory address. He began with what have become familiar words to us recalling the birth of a nation “conceived in liberty” and dedicated to individual equality. He moved quickly to make an extremely personal application of the purpose for which they had gathered.  Lincoln’s memorial address concluded as he resolutely commissioned his audience to dedicate themselves by taking up freedom’s battle cry:

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

On this Memorial Day, America once again needs our dedication and devotion. There is great resolve and dedication to fundamentally change our way of life.  We are all soldiers on that battlefield. We fight for truth, but it is a truth that is greater than our own; it is God’s truth. And with God’s strength and direction, freedom can ring once again from sea to shining sea. This is my Memorial Day prayer and resolution, and I hope and pray it is yours also.

Sincerely in Christ,
Daniel Hite

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