Best Way to Honor Our Military Dead

Memorial Day began as a Decoration Day to remember fallen soldiers of the Civil War (1861-65). One of the earliest commemorations took place at Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi. On April 25, 1866 the ladies of the town decided to decorate both Confederate and Union soldiers’ graves with garlands and bouquets of flowers. Yesterday I led worship at historic Middleburg Baptist Church in Middleburg, VA whose building was used as a hospital during the Civil War. In Sunday School the children went out into the ancient cemetery adjacent to the church and laid flowers on the soldiers’ graves, both US and Confederate.

The Civil War ended 147 years ago. Now we find ourselves in a conflict that has lasted twice as long. Over 1,500 US troops have died in hostile action in Afghanistan; more than 3,500 in Iraq. The numbers are higher if non-combat deaths and later suicides are included. Many more US troops lost their lives in other wars: Vietnam (47,424), Korea (33,686), World War II (291,557), World War I (53,402), Civil War (140,414 USA; 72,525 CSA), Mexican-American War (1,733), War of 1812 (2,260), and the Revolutionary War (8,000).

While I support our Memorial Day tradition, I believe the best way to honor our military dead is to make no more wars.



Filed under holidays, issues

2 responses to “Best Way to Honor Our Military Dead

  1. Appman

    What is your stance on abortion? I read your blog and it appears you are pro-life. Also, do you believe in the Virgin Birth?
    Just curious-Thanks,

  2. Hi, Brad.

    Thank you for reading my blog and leaving a comment. Although I generally dislike litmus test questions, I will answer them anyway. I believe life begins at conception but it doesn’t end at birth. I am pro-life but that means more to me than simply being anti-abortion. I’m also anti-poverty, anti-discrimination, and anti-war (but not anti-military). I believe in the miracle of the Virgin Birth because it is clearly taught in Scripture, even though it goes against reason and experience. There are other miracles in Scripture that I struggle with, but I’m not going to tell you which ones because I don’t want to be judged. The Virgin Birth is foundational because without it how could Christ be the “Son of God” in any real, non-metaphorical sense? Ultimately any miracle we choose to believe requires a leap of faith, and there’s a fine line between genuine faith and gullibility.

    How’s that? Did I pass the test?

    Below are some posts I wrote related to the topics at hand.

    On abortion:

    On the Virgin Birth:

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