A Day to Remember What (or Who) Made America Great

Posted: May 26, 2008 in Memorial Day, Remembering
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Meaning of Memorial Day

Does anyone know the purpose of Memorial Day?

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868 “The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land (CALLED DECORATION DAY). In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance… Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”By order of JOHN A. LOGAN, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans’ organization,

Memorial Day Poster “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882, but did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967 . On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971 . The holiday has endured as one where most businesses stay closed because it marks the beginning of the “summer vacation season”

The official dead list from US wars since 1860:

Civil War (1861-1865) 623,026

Indian Wars (1865-1898) 919

Spanish-American War (1898) 2,446

Phillipine War (1898-1902) 4,196

Boxer Rebellion (1900-1901) 37

Mexican Revolution (1914-1919) 35

Haiti Occupation (1915-1934) 146

World War 1 (1917-1918) 116,708

World War 2 (1941-1945) 407,316

Korean War (1950-1953) 36,914

Vietnam War (1964-1973) 58,169

El Salvador (1980-1992) 20

Beirut (1982-1984) 266

ersian Gulf Support (1987-1988) 39

Invasion of Grenada (1983) 19

Invasion of Panama (1989) 40

Gulf War (1991) 269

Somalia (1992-1993) 43

Bosnia 1995 12

Afghanistan (2002-2008) 482

Iraqi (2003-2008) 4079+

A Time for Remembering

Memorial DayIt is important that we pause from time to time to remember what makes this country so great, and to honor those who have given their lives for our FREEDOM. Take time tomorrow to honor those who have served in the Armed Forces. They secure our freedom from Tyranny as well as our Freedom to Worship the God of the Bible.

We should also remember what and who has really had a hand in making our country great, and that is our Lord God Jehovah. Some would say that America is great because we Bless the Jews. But I say America is Great because it honors’ God’s Word.

I want to quote from a sermon delivered on May 27th, 1730 by Rev Thomas Prince, a Puritan pastor. He was remembering the 100th anniversary of the Puritans coming to America.

Thomas Prince (1687-1758), A Sermon Delivered at Cambridge Before the Great and General Assembly of the Province of the Massachusetts, May 27th 1730. Being the Anniversary for the Election of His Majesty’s Council for the Province. By Thomas Prince, M.A. And one of the Pastors of the South Church in Boston.

Pastor Prince said that the Puritans came to New England for religious liberty, not economic reasons. Prince’s sermon also called for government acknowledgment of God. This sermon was preached before the Massachusetts legislature.

His text was “1 Sam. 12:6, 7.”

“And SAMUEL said unto the PEOPLE; ‘It is the LORD that advanced MOSES and AARON, and that brought up your FATHERS out of the Land of Egypt; Now therefore, stand still, that I may Reason with you before the LORD, of all the Righteous Acts of the LORD, which He did to YOU and to your FATHERS.'”

I want to read his first four points.

1. When there at any time arise, either in the civil or ecclesiastical order, MEN of eminent wisdom, goodness, power and usefulness among a people of GOD, we must consider, it is the LORD their GOD, that made, accomplished and raised them up, and this in special favor to that particular people.

2. That when such a people are in a remarkable manner brought out of the hands of those that vexed them, to a place or state of ease and liberty; the gracious conduct of the LORD their GOD, is herein to be religiously observed and acknowledged by them.

3. It behooves such a people so treated of GOD, to remember all his signal operations, both of judgment and of mercy, both to them and their fathers, to view them as acts of faithfulness and righteousness to them, and consider the special and great obligations arising from them.

4. And lastly, it becomes their public teachers to remind them therefore of all these things, and from thence to reason with them before the LORD about their answerable carriage [i.e., behavior] towards Him.

In support of his observations, Pastor Prince states eloquently:

“And here I cannot forbear observing, that there never was any people on earth, so parallel in their general history to that of the ancient ISRAELITES as this of NEW ENGLAND. To no other country of people could there ever be so directly applied a multitude of Scripture passages in the literal sense, as to this particular country: that excepting miracles and changing names, one would be ready to think, the greater part of the OLD TESTAMENT were written about us; or that we, though in a lower degree, were the particular antitypes of that primitive [early] people.

However, I’m sure, that upon the present occasion, I may justly turn the text into a like address, in the Name of GOD, to this Great and General Assembly, comprehensive both of rulers and people of every order; and say–“It is the LORD that advanced your primitive civil and ecclesiastical LEADERS, and that brought up your FATHERS out of the land of their affliction; now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD, of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which He did to YOU and to your FATHERS!

And how extremely proper is it, upon the close of the FIRST CENTURY of our settlement in this chief part of the land, which will now within a few weeks expire,* to look back to the beginning of this remarkable transaction, and first commemorate the righteous and signal works of GOD towards us, both in our own days and in the days of our fathers; and then consider the great and special obligations they have laid upon us, with the nature of our carriage towards Him for the time past, and our interest and wisdom for the future.

(* On Saturday, June 12, 1630, arrived in Salem River, the Arabella, with Governor WINTHROP and some of his Assistants, bringing the Charter of the MASSACHUSETTS Colony, and therewith the Government, transferred hither: The other ten ships of the fleet with Deputy Governor DUDLEY and the other Assistants arrived in Salem and Charles Rivers before July 11. In the same month the Governor, Deputy Governor and Assistants came with their goods to CHARLESTOWN: And the first Court of Assistants was held there on Aug. 23, the same year.)

Pastor Prince then quotes from Psalm 78:

“Give ear therefore O my People to my Law: incline your Ear to the Words of my Mouth! I will utter things of old, which we have heard and known and our Fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their Children; shewing to the Generation and Century coming on, the Praises of the LORD, and his Strength, and his Wonderful WORKS that He has done. For He established a Testimony in JACOB, and appointed a Law, a Law of Gratitude in ISRAEL, which He commanded our Fathers, that they should make known the WORKS of GOD to their Children: that the Generation to come might know them, even the Children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their Children; that they might also set their Hope in GOD, and not forget his Works, but keep his Commandments.”

He goes on to say before the Massachusetts Legislature:

And here we must own, that very many have been the wondrous WORKS which the LORD our GOD has wrought for us: they cannot be reckoned up in order before Him: if I would declare and speak of them they are more than can be numbered. We may now therefore only touch on some of the most material; those of the most important, public and comprehensive nature.

And he goes on to list some of the mighty works God did in establishing the commonwealth of Massachusets from 1630-1730. You could never do that in Massachusetts today. They would boo you out of the legislature.

Not only did God work to form the United States, but He moved in the hearts of men to do so. Our founding Fathers honored God, they Honored God’s Word, and that made America Great.

George Washington:

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.”

John Adams:

“ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

• “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” –John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

John Adams:

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –October 11, 1798

“The highest glory of the American Revolution, said John Quincy Adams, was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY.” comments Adams made in a July 4, 1837 oration.

John Quincy Adams:


• “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?” “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity”?–1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts

THE SUPREME COURT:

John W. Whitehead analyzes the Supreme Court’s historic understanding of the relationship between Christianity and government in the United States:

“In 1892 the United States Supreme Court made an exhaustive study of the supposed connection between Christianity and the government of the United States. After researching hundreds volumes of historical documents, the Court asserted ‘these references add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a religious people…a Christian nation.’ Likewise in 1931, Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland reversed the 1892 decision in relation to another case and reiterated that Americans are a ‘Christian people’ and in 1952 Justice William O. Douglas affirmed ‘we are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.'”

For the first 250 years of our existence God’s Word determined the conduct of self-government in homes, churches, and civil society. God Blessed America because our forefathers built their nation with reliance on Him and His Word, and because God had a Gospel purpose for our nation.

Tomb of the Unknown SoldierTOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

But today we have forgotten our Bible Heritage and only the skeleton remains. We say HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN ONLY TO GOD. YET ANY HONORED GLORY THAT OUR NATION HAS IS BECAUSE WE SUBMIT TO AND HONOR OUR CREATOR GOD. AS WE DO NOT FORGET OUR UNKNOWN FALLEN, NEITHER SHOULD WE FORGET OUR GOD.

We as a Nation have turned away from the authority of God and His Word. I believe we have BLINDERS on our eyes, and we refuse to see the HANDWRITING ON THE WALL. I believe America is trodding on dangerous ground. We have forgotten our GOD.

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