Daniel's Den

Posted May 20, 2020

Memorial Day and Exercising Our Rights . . .

It is 3am on a cold winter day at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Most of the roughly 10,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines were asleep in the warmth of their rooms as patchy snow covers the landscape. Suddenly the loudspeakers overhead come alive with the orders telling everyone to fall into formation. Not a normal formation and one that no one wants to go to, but everyone knows they must—not because of the order, but for the honor to do so. Surrounded by sandbags, concrete barriers, the base has flipped a switch and turned from a deployed city in sleep, to a sea of green and tan military awaiting further direction. Some just woken from a few moments of sleep, others leaving their duties to attend to a more pressing concern, all focused on the events that are about to unfold.

Down the 3-mile main road of this Afghanistan base, standing shoulder to shoulder men and women in arms, awaiting to pay their respects to fallen comrades. Soon, the lights of emergency vehicles can be seen slowly making their way up the boulevard. Escorts, leading a flatbed trailer to an awaiting USAF C-17 cargo plane on its way back to the United States. On the trailer are 3 caskets draped in U.S. Flags and as the trailer approaches the lines or servicemen lining the streets, each pays their respects by saluting sharply the men who have paid the ultimate price. Once the trailer reaches the plane, the caskets are transferred into the aircraft, heads are bowed for prayer for these men’s families and for others in harm’s way. Thousands of servicemen and women in the middle of a war zone, paying homage and respect the best way they know how.

Similar ceremonies are played out in other parts of the world. All to show the love and respect for the sacrifices and dedicated duty our military servicemen and women show on a daily basis. Memorial Day is about remembering these fallen heroes and honoring their sacrifices on our behalf. Through their sacrifice, we have the freedom to worship God, own Bibles, and yes, pray in public. Don’t let their sacrifice go unwarranted—attend church often, read your Bible, and never be ashamed to bow your head and pray in public. May God have mercy on the judge who told our school district employees they cannot even bow their heads when a student prays.

—Pastor Daniel