In Gratitude

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 NASB


A One-Year-Old Sloan sporting his Red, White and Blue. Lawdy those rolls...

Today we remember. It’s not just another day – at least it shouldn’t be. Today is the day we stop and pause. For so, so many today is not a day to celebrate. The remembering is real and it comes with heartache and pain that cuts deep and burns to the core.

Today we remember freedom and the sacrifice that comes with it. We honor the men and women who have gone before and stood between us and those who would like to bring harm. There is no greater love, no greater sacrifice, than that of one willing to die so that others might live.

Thank you.

We recognize you all today. To those currently serving both here in the States and in far away lands – Thank you.

To those who have served in the past and now hold the honored status of veteran – Thank you.

To those family members whose loved ones laid down their lives and did not return, we thank you in their honor. Thank you for loving them and supporting them and know that we don’t take the loss lightly. To you, sacrifice is real and it is for a lifetime.

We honor you – all of you.

Today is not just another day to eat and watch football…or baseball…or basketball…or whatever is playing on that squawking box in the middle of the room. (My husband will probably make fun of me for that last sentence – is football even in season right now?! It’s not, is it…)

Today is not just a day off. It is a day to pause, to think, to revel in the joyfulness of family and friends, but mostly it’s a day to remember. We remember that freedom is, indeed, not free. It comes with a price that too many people know too well. Freedom is marked with the pain of sacrifice.

Did you know that the word remember means “to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory?” You knows what this means, right?

It means that sometimes remembering takes work.

It means that sometimes we have to stop and actually try to recall to the mind. Every generation is affected by the loss – some generations more than others and some losses more fresh on the mind. But none of us are exempt from the work of remembrance. We can all remember and maybe – maybe we could take a bolder step?

Find someone to thank personally today. A friend who served or currently serves. A family member who is a veteran. A neighbor who’s son is walking the dusty streets of danger for your freedom. Who can you thank?

Join me today as we remember. If you would like to leave the name of someone you want to honor in the comments, you are welcome to do so. We will remember them and honor them on this day together.

Happy Memorial Day.


  1. My brother, Mark.
    My husband, Dave,
    His father, Pat.
    His father, Hubert.
    My friends’ son, Brian. (currently serving in a remote and dangerous location)

  2. One of the strongest impressions Europe left on me (maybe because we were there on Sept. 11) was that they know what it means to remember. Every tiny town had a US army tank in it’s square with a plaque memorializing those who rescued them from the Germans. And in most cases they were so well cared for you would have thought the war ended only a few months before. I think if I get back there I would love to do a whole photo essay on how Europeans remember.

    (Psst — Cycling. It’s what’s in season.)

    • Cycling! Of course!

      And yes, Europe does an amazing job of remembering. Probably because more of war has happened on their soil. New York is really the only city in our country that bears the marks of war. I’m glad we have commemorated those lives well. I’d love to see the 9-11 memorial some day.

      And if you ever do that photo tour of Europe, can I carry your camera equipment? Kind of like a caddy but with cameras and stuff….

  3. I think of my brother, Brett. My grandfathers, my friend Jeremy Nevil. So many people that I love have sacrificed for me. It’s humbling.

  4. tiffany nevil says

    I think of Captain John Hallett III, Sgt. Troy Tom, and my Grandfather Robert Douglas. And my good lookin soldier, Jeremy ;). Thanks Kel.

  5. My Grandfathers
    My Dad
    My Son In Law (currently in Afghan but will be home next month!!!)
    and so many friends – Especially Rob and Robin who are husband and wife both in the military. They have essentially tag teamed their deployments over the last 5 or 6 years. One deploys and just a few short months after that one returns, the other seems to be deployed. Rob has been deployed 3 times and Robin is on her 2nd one now. I cannot imagine a family torn apart like that for so many years!
    Thanks to all of you!!!