Written by John Kirkwood on May 25, 2013

For if our brothers were here today, they would tell us, “you want to remember me today brother and bring me honor; then pull her close and kiss her long and hard; then lay in the hammock and hear the music of your children playing, ride the open road with the wind in your face and then remember me. Remember too that I’m not a granite statue or a charcoal sketch; I’m flesh and blood spent for others. Fill your glass and then drain it for freedom. And raise your children to do the same!”

Appreciate freedom in the myriad of opportunities that God has provided and the soldier has protected. Make part of the celebration an annual movie night and choose a movie that best reflects the warrior ideal. You’ll want to start with Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers.

Pick up the book Offerings at the Wall: Artifacts from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection and share it with your Sunday School Class or Boy Scout troop.  Come to Washington, D.C. and ride with Rolling Thunder or simply visit the memorials thanking every veteran that you meet. Walk in the shadows of Arlington and praise God that you were blessed enough to have been born in the greatest country and among the bravest men and women that history has ever known.

So this Memorial Day, a gold-star mom will clutch a triangle flag to her chest and look through tear-streaked eyes on an empty bedroom; and this is good. A brother will show up at “the wall” in the twilight hours before the crowds and leave another part of the ’67 Mustang that his brother never had the chance to finish; and this is good. There will be countless barbeques, parties, drive-in theater dates and concerts — the pulse of America that makes our brethren deployed smile from thousands of miles away; and it will be good.

For this is the ultimate memorial: that whether you remember in stoic silence or top-of-the-lungs joy, never forget that the price of liberty is military victory and the cost of military victory is the blood of American heroes. It is rare as it is precious and it is to be remembered. Salute!

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John Kirkwood
John Kirkwood is a son of Issachar. He is a Zionist, gun-toting, cigar-smoking, incandescent light bulb-using, 3.2 gallon flushing, fur-wearing, Chinese (MSG) eating, bow-hunting, SUV driving, unhyphenated American man who loves his wife, isn't ashamed of his country and does not apologize for his Christianity. He Pastors Grace Gospel Fellowship Bensenville, where "we the people" seek to honor "In God we Trust." He hosts the Christian wake up call IN THE ARENA every Sunday at noon on AM 1160 and he co-hosts UnCommon Sense, the Christian Worldview with a double shot of espresso on He is the proud homeschooling dad of Konnor, Karter and Payton and the "blessed from heaven above" husband of the Righteous and Rowdy Wendymae.