It’s Memorial Day. Memorial Day for many means barbecues, maybe a trip to the lake. We’re far enough removed from war that it’s mostly become another excuse for a three-day weekend. Yes, we fought a war 10 years ago, but it was so quick it didn’t really seem like war, and it was undeclared. And our previous administration involved us in plenty of skirmishes, but that wasn’t exactly war either. And I know, to many of us Vietnam seems like it was just yesterday, just like the first Bush administration seems like it was just yesterday to me, but Vietnam was long enough ago that there’s an entire generation of adults who view it exclusively as an historical event–by the time I was born, we were out of there.
One of the elders at church told me this week that 1.2 million U.S. soldiers have died in combat over the course of our history. That’s a lot of lives to gain and protect our freedom. And yes, as screwed up as our country is, we’re still a lot better off than much of the world. The dangers we face today are the dangers of our own making. There is no foreign dragon looming over our heads waiting to devour us.

So if you know any veterans, thank them the next time you see them. If you don’t, at least take a minute to thank God for their sacrifice.