I’ll just come right out and say it: I believe America is the greatest nation on earth.
I know, I know. In today’s globalist times, nationalism isn’t always revered as a virtue. But there is not an unpatriotic bone in my body, and I unashamedly practice patriotism and believe it should be taught to a younger generation.
I love America. I love the freedom that she stands for. I love her flag. And I love those who have sacrificed to make her what she is.
I love the fact that we celebrate Memorial Day to honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I love that we memorialize their sacrifice.
What about our nation and our veterans do we remember on Memorial Day?
Remember values—In the words of our pledge, remember “liberty and justice for all.” America is great because we don’t just believe in “liberty and justice for the elite” but for all. I know our justice system isn’t perfect, and I know there have been some gross inconsistencies (such as the blight of slavery) in how we have practiced these values. But we believe in them. And we have been willing to go to war to protect them for others. (Remember, our soldiers have not only fought for our freedom, but also for the freedom of others.) Our veterans have served and many given their lives for these expressions of freedom.
Remember courage—The men and women who have given their lives for the cause of freedom are heroes for their courage. They didn’t fight because a brutal dictator forced them to advance his regime. They didn’t fight for utopian ideals. They periled—and gave—their lives for the God-given right of freedom. That takes courage.
Remember lives—Life is a valuable gift from God, and to lay it down defending other lives is a precious gift to others. The price for freedom has never been cheap. For America alone, it has cost over 1.3 million lives. Thank God for every one of them. Ultimately, remembering these lives with profound gratitude is the purpose of Memorial Day.
Remember God—Although it is not popular to say anymore, the right of freedom is a God-given right, as even our American Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
America was never a Christian nation in the sense that all Americans were born again Christians who belonged to New Testament local churches. But America was founded by men who believed in God, many of which who identified themselves by the Christian faith. Furthermore, America was founded on Christian values and an acknowledgment of God as the author of natural laws and the Bible as, at the very least, setting forth admirable civil values.
Today, America is attempting to forget God—to rewrite history as if she never did believe in God. And because I love America, this grieves me.
As an individual American, I choose to still remember God and to thank Him for the gift of freedom.
As a Christian American, and especially as a Christian pastor, I choose to call others to remember God, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to pray for national revival.