Take time to understand significance of Memory Day

 When I was young I didn't understand what Memorial Day was all about. I do remember seeing many American flags and going to potluck dinners and picnics.

Now I am almost 94 years old, and I understand Memorial Day.

It began in the North after the Civil War, to honor those who had given their lives to free the slaves. America was founded by those who had fought the British and felt that God had chosen them to make freedom real.

But many, including George Washington, had hundreds of slaves. Abraham Lincoln went through a fierce struggle trying to answer the question: "Was it right to risk thousands of lives to free the slaves when even Jesus had not condemned slavery?" It was a tremendous price to pay, but now we know what makes America great and gives us a heritage we all share.

After many years it was decided that all veterans should be honored on Memorial Day, and I know what that personally means. One beautiful summer afternoon I was at Fort Snelling and stood at a casket containing the body of my brother, Lawrence. Those who work endlessly for veterans folded the flag that covered the casket and presented it to me.


I heard the volley of dedicating shots as tears covered my face. I heard Taps sounding in the quiet air, and in that moment I knew that all was well in my America.

Rev. Robert S. Nelson


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