OpinionTrending Commentary

A Day To Mourn or Embrace?


Is it “Happy Memorial Day” or do we need to tip-toe around celebrating? Am I supposed to be happy or sad? I know it can be confusing, right?

This thought is on the minds of many Americans as they celebrate this very special and sacred day in our nation. To many military veterans, Memorial Day is not a day of simply mourning, but a day to celebrate the freedoms earned in battle.

So, yes, fire up your grills and celebrate! That is the point of freedom. Just do so knowing that this day is a moment we must also pause and reflect honor to those who paid the ultimate price with their very lives for that freedom.

Over the last two decades I have lost a number of friends in Afghanistan and Iraq; our freedom purchased with their lives. Each of us might have different freedoms we cherish over others, but the privileges that come with living in the home of the free are BECAUSE of the brave.

As a Christian, there is no freedom I hold dearer to me and my family than the freedom of religion and the ability to worship God. This is a freedom our heroes have fought, bled and died for since the first Americans stood for our freedom and independence in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War.

However, the freedom to worship is not common to most of the world and at times we might take for granted how special that right is. While living in freedom it’s easy to forget for most people of faith. According to The Pew Research Center, over 75% of the world’s population lives without religious freedom.

For people of faith, these truths should challenge us as we reside in the land of the free. We are the fortunate 25% of the world that wakes up every day under the blanket of freedom giving us the gift of religious liberties.

While many Americans will dress up and carry their Bibles to the Sunday Memorial Day service, other brave men and women will sneak Bibles into North Korea risking their lives to bring the Bibles to the hopeless. Someone in Nigeria will risk being crucified or burned alive by sharing the story of Jesus because they passionately believe their personal safety and life is not worth caging the truth of the gospel.

For Christians, this has been the case for over 2,000 years. Shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, anyone would have faced His same fate by merely mentioning the name of Jesus and for over 2,000 years people have decided that freedom of religion was worth laying down their lives to protect.

As Americans we must not waste our freedoms. Are we truly using our freedom the way we should? We cannot forget the phrase that can never become a simple cliché, “Freedom is not free.”

Many of our heroes died to pay its price for us.

So today, let’s not be sad, but joyous in celebration for our freedoms. Let’s not mourn their deaths but live boldly for what they died for.

Chad Robichaux is the founder and president of Mighty Oaks Foundation, as well as co-founder of Save Our Allies. 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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