Power & Market

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

It’s that time of year again. The first military appreciation day of the year, otherwise known as Memorial Day, is coming up on Monday, May 27.

On the Sunday before this day, many conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist churches will have patriotic services where American flags are placed all over the church grounds and inside the building, the congregation recites the Pledge of Allegiance, hymns of worship to the state will be sung (including the blasphemous “Battle Hymn of the Republic”), current and former members of the military will be recognized, a video tribute to the troops will be shown, a military chaplain will speak, and more prayers than usual will be offered for “the troops in harm’s way.”

Christian parachurch ministries will also jump on the Memorial Day bandwagon. I receive each month, both via print and email, a variety of religious publications. Here is what one of them says about Memorial Day in this month’s issue of their newsletter:

Near the end of the month, we observe Memorial Day. It is good and proper to remember those who have died in the service of our country. The freedom we enjoy in the United States of America is at the price of their sacrifice. This great price has been paid so that we can live, work, and raise our families in peace and safety. As believers, we are further grateful to God for the freedom and right to assemble for worship, to preach the Word, and to proclaim the gospel of grace freely.

I agree with the first and last sentences.

Yes, Memorial Day is observed in on the last Monday in May. Memorial Day was first observed in honor of Union soldiers who died during the War to Prevent Southern Independence. After World War I, the holiday was expanded to include soldiers who died in vain and for a lie in any unnecessary U.S. war.

And yes, Christians are grateful to God for the freedom and right to assemble for worship, to preach the Word, and to proclaim the gospel of grace freely. Christians should be grateful to God for all things. But no foreign enemy ever tried to take away these freedoms and rights. When these things have been infringed upon, it has always been by government entities in the United States. Just look what happened during COVID.

The second sentence would be true if only we could remember those who have died in the service of our country. To give but one major and recent example, U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan certainly didn’t die in the service of our county. They died in vain and for a lie in the service of the U.S. government. The country didn’t benefit in the least. As Future of Freedom Foundation president Jacob Hornberger recently said: “Dying for one’s government is not the same as dying for one’s country.” The freedoms and rights we enjoy in the United States have no connection to their deaths, which were no sacrifice at all. Their deaths were completely unnecessary, totally preventable, and entirely meaningless. The great price of their lives has nothing to do with Americans living, working, and raising their families in peace and safety.

Happy Memorial Day. Enjoy the long weekend. If you are a veteran, take advantage of the free meals that some restaurants will give veterans this weekend. Just don’t forget that the freedoms, rights, peace, and safety of Americans are in spite of their government’s military adventures, not because of them.

Originally published by LewRockwell.com.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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