Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (KJV)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
As a child growing up and celebrating my birthday (May 30), this holiday holds great reverence for me. May 30 was the traditional day observed in this country in honor of those members of the armed forces killed in war. Now it is officially observed on the last Monday in May.
I was proud to celebrate my birthday along with the accomplishments of great heroes and sheroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their life that others might live theirs in freedom.
As I grew older and the date of paying homage to our veterans changed, I questioned why. Why would the date for celebrating heroic, gallant actions be changed for some political purpose? The soldiers had already given their lives for political pandering and here, the day that was set aside for them, had now been resolved to just another Monday contributing to a three day weekend, boosting our economy in the realm of leisure activities.
Not this time.
Militaristic activities have caused such a divide in this country due to the selfish greed and snobbish disposition of the “upper crust” that the American Pie has almost lost its good taste.
On this Memorial Day let us reach back into time where outward respect was shown towards our soldiers and we as Americans were proud to celebrate the day for what it was and represented. Not just for a three day weekend to overindulge in whatever pain medicine one needs to escape the mundane drudgery of what our leaders are trying to make of our Great Country.
There was a time when being a soldier meant something respectable because that job required a belief in what your country stood for. Now there are questions surrounding the integrity of some of our leaders and our soldiers.
Therefore our country’s veracity is clad in darkness and we, its citizens, act as if we were some claques applauding our sinister demise by a buffoon group of racists.
Let us not hold our mighty warriors accountable for the shameless deeds that befall poisoned soldiers and the elected leaders of this country who stoop so low as to waddle in squalor for the sake of dirty money, preferential treatment and outright racism.
In addressing the purpose of Memorial Day, may we forever remember and cherish the true spirit of nationalism and respect that our deceased soldiers fought and now sleep in their graves for.
As long as the sun rises and sets, the oceans rush to the shores and the seasons follow each other, we will need the courage and fortitude of true soldiers who put the freedoms of others before their own and not just for the sake of money.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
Word History: Why do soldiers fight? One answer is hidden in the word soldier itself. Its first recorded occurrence is found in a work composed around 1300, the word having come into Middle English (as soudier) from Old French soudoior and Anglo-Norman soudeour. The Old French word, first recorded in the 12th century, is derived from sol or soud, Old French forms of Modern French sou. There is no longer a French coin named sou, but the meaning of sou alerts us to the fact that money is involved. Indeed, Old French sol referred to a coin and also meant “pay,” and a soudoior was a man who fought for pay. This was a concept worth expressing in an era when many men were not paid for fighting but did it in service to a feudal superior. Thus soldier is parallel to the word mercenary, which goes back to Latin mercnnrius, derived from mercs, “pay,” and meaning “working for pay.” The word could also be used as a noun, one of whose senses was “a soldier of fortune.” From Free on line dictionary