Not Just a Song

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May 23, 2012
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June 4, 2012

Not Just a Song

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13


Memorial Day is supposed to be a day to honor members of the United States Armed forces who gave the ultimate sacrifice in their service to their country.  The United States has been at war now continuously for over a decade, and I am extraordinarily blessed in that I don’t personally know anybody who died while serving.  I suspect that I am in a minority.  In fact, on this day every year I am struck by how fortunate I am to have friends and family that have impacted and blessed my life who, but for the blessings of Providence, would be among the fallen we honor on this day.  My heart goes out to those who are not so blessed, and I pray peace for them.

Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. (It used to be called Decoration Day.)  It has since been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.  The holiday was originally a mix of religion and patriotism, and came to represent the sacrifice of those who died for a better nation.

According to usmemorialday.org,

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

[snip]

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.


The theme of Memorial Day is American exceptionalism—our soldiers died for our country because our country, and all it stands for, is worth dying for.  We honor them for helping make our country exceptional, and ensuring it remains that way.

In 1861 Julia Ward Howe penned the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  She penned it at the beginning of the Civil War as a battle tune for the Union armies, but it has become a true battle tune for all wars, all services, all of our men and women who know combat.


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.


I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.


I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.


He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.


In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.


He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.



“As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.”

For some, not just a song.

Thank you.





















Scott
Scott Gosnell founded Pros and Cons in 2003. He also has a day job as a practicing attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, which explains his complete irresponsibility with regards to his blogging schedule. In a former life he worked in several churches as a youth minister, where he was forced to do unspeakable things like chew ABC gum (Already Been Chewed), bob for liver (uncooked), and participate in condiment wrestling. Hey, would you look at that – I guess they are speakable. In addition to the practice of law, Scott is a certified law enforcement officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Alabama Historical Ironworks Commission, and a tactical firearms instructor. Scott and his wife, Donna, have three children, Caleb, Hannah Beth, and Austin. He also has a dog named Sierra and a cell phone named Curtis.

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