None of the following are entitled to a special day, but they deserve a tip of memory’s hat as they pass into the deep valley of forgotten lore. Do you remember?

Growing up with your buddies playing cowboys with a cap pistol and none developed into a serial killer.

When the TV station ended every day playing the national anthem and began each with the singing of gospel songs.

Churning butter on the porch.

Monkey bars were a favorite of little monkeys.

The only weight loss program was called work.

The big TV quiz program was the $64.00 Question.

Movies offered news reels and dramatic short serials.

Dubble Bubble gum was a special treat, but not at school.

Stores were closed on Sunday.

Spankings did not cause psychosis, but they did result in respect.

You had to roll up or down the car window.

A Coke was broadly called a Dope.

A bicycle was the preferred mode of transportation.

Bellbottoms and poodle skirts were in.

Your curfew was lightening bugs.

The Hit Parade was often listened to on a Philco radio.

Clark Gable in “Gone With the Wind” used “the word.”

Now some things deserving a day, a Memorial Day. When crossing the Jordan River the Jews piled up stones as a memorial of their crossing.

Americans, like the ancient Druids, Greeks, Romans, and a legion of others have long realized the value of paying tribute to their war dead. It is an acknowledgment of gratitude to those who had died serving their county in defense of what is valued as truth.

In 1967 President Johnson issued a resolution officially naming Waterloo, New York as the “birthplace of Memorial Day.” Regardless of where it started, it is appropriate that we pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Currently Memorial Day has been diminished in the understanding of many. Many have forgotten the significance of Memorial Day. It is a time when we pause to pay tribute to those who have died in defense of our country. To make that more personal they have given their lives in defense of our freedoms. We owe them a debt we cannot pay. Nevertheless, we should pay them tribute.

We were in Israel one year when they celebrated their Memorial Day. We were driving in Tel Aviv when punctually at 11:00 AM a siren sounded. Every person stopped and was silent for one minute. Vehicles stopped on all roads and people got out and stood silently at attention. Cars had antenna flags such as we see during football season, only theirs were their national flag.

Lest we forget reflect on these our war casualties of lives lost in the wars of our nation.

Revolutionary War 25,324

Civil War 498,332

Spanish American War 1,862

French and Indian War 3,211

World War I 116,710

World War II 407,316

Korean War 54,546

Vietnam War 58,098

Persian Gulf War 146

Iraqi War 4,445

Afghanistan War 1,582

(These figures vary.)

Millions more have suffered injuries and post-war ailments. Our freedom has been won at a great price. It is being maintained at a great price by persons in the military and their families. We are debtors.Rudyard Kipling offered a prayer that needs to be prayed by all, “Lord of Host, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget.”

The Rev. Dr. Nelson L. Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.


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