Memorial Day: A Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day helps us remember those who have died in war. It can also help us long for the day when true peace will come to this war-torn world.


A US Army soldier at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery.

On Memorial Day Americans will honor those who died fighting in the many wars that have marked this nation’s 242-year history. Flowers will be placed on the graves of the dead, and ceremonies will take place around the country to honor those who gave their lives in defense of this country. Prayers will also be offered up for the safety of those actively serving in harm’s way.

As we honor those who sacrificed their lives in war, we might ask ourselves, will war or the threat of war always be with us?

A brief history

Memorial Day was proclaimed in 1868 (three years after the Civil War) by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30 of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. More Americans were killed fighting the Civil War than both world wars combined.

After World War I the holiday was changed to honor Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Most have deep respect for those young men and women who willingly laid their lives on the line for the security of their families and country.

Sometimes in today’s ungodly world, it seems that there is no alternative to war.

A terrible toll

Though war is glorified in movies and video games, in reality it exacts a terrible toll on nations as well as individuals.

The Bible speaks of a future time following the return of Jesus Christ when there will no longer be a need for war colleges or warfare.Marriage and family life are disrupted when a soldier has to leave for months at a time. Fathers and mothers are often deprived of the joy of being with their children in the most formative years of their lives. Bodies and minds are often scarred beyond repair by the carnage of war. Parents’ and grandparents’ hearts are torn apart by news of the sudden and tragic ending of the lives of their children and grandchildren in some far-off place.

Neither shall they learn war anymore

Thankfully, an age is coming when mankind will learn to live at peace with one another; when the disputes between nations will not be resolved on the battlefield, but by a just and righteous world government led by Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.

The Bible speaks of a future time following the return of Jesus Christ when there will no longer be a need for war colleges or warfare.

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

“He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:1-4).

About the Author

Bruce Gore

Bruce Gore

Bruce Gore served as a pastor for more than 50 years in the Church of God. He grew up in the South on a farm and met his wife to be at college in Pasadena, California. Bruce and Phyllis were married for more than 50 years before her death in 2019. They had four children and 14 grandchildren.

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