News & Events

Upcoming Events

All-Church

Adult Impact

Adult Transformation

Children

Journey College

Forerunners

GraceWorks

Missions

Prayer

Recreation

Real Life Singles (ages 35+)

Wired Singles (ages 18-34)

Student Ministry

Women

Worship

GABC South

Events

Trouble viewing events list? View direct link


Just So You Will Know

May 28, 2017

THIS IS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. As I am sure the majority of you are aware, Memorial Day “is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.” However, you may have also noticed that for a seemingly ever-growing number, this is just another holiday.

UNFORTUNATELY, or perhaps fortunately in one sense, it seems that the farther we move from those times of major military conflict, the less attuned we become to the price that has been paid by so many for the freedoms which we often tend to take for granted. As time passes, we tend to lose a sense of the “faces” of those whose service, and whose deaths are what we are called to remember. In honor of Memorial Day this year, please allow me a personal moment to reflect on just a few of those faces that Memorial Day brings to mind.

AS I GREW UP, the concept of sacrifice in the service for our country was very much a part of our cultural awareness. My dad served in the Army in Europe during World War II, and my mom was a 1st Lieutenant Army Nurse serving in England and France from 1943-1945 (she had some tales to tell!). One of my uncles served in the Navy in the Pacific, and assisted in the design and creation of the original cemetery at Pearl Harbor. And many more family members served during World War II and Korea. As you might imagine, the stories they shared around the table at family gatherings were both colorful and enlightening. Although they did not give their lives while in service for the country, they are all now gone, and the memories of each are indelibly embedded in the stories of their years of service.

THEN AS MY GENERATION came of age, when Vietnam was at the forefront of everyone’s mind and conversation, a whole new spate of stories, experiences and sacrifices began to evolve. Our down-the-street neighbor, Mack, with whom we had grown and played since elementary school was killed in that war, as was Rusty, with whom I shared junior high school wood shop classes. Jaime’s cousin Charles, who was for all practical purposes her “second brother” during her childhood in Louisiana, was killed in a fire onboard ship near the end of that conflict. Their names are now engraved on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., along with the names of the nearly 60,000 other “faces” who died serving our nation.

EACH MEMORIAL DAY, I find it particularly meaningful, not only to remember “the thousands who gave their lives,” but to remember Mac, Rusty, Charles, Gene, Harold, Hank, Ervin and Mary Alice (my mom and dad), and so many more whose lives — whose service — are the foundation of the Legacy of Freedom that Memorial Day is intended to honor.

ALL I CAN SAY IS…I Remember!

Ken Warren
Senior Associate Pastor