Memorial Day and Prayer

In initiating the idea of an annual remembrance, John A. Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, referred to those who had died in battles as those “who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes.” What a vivid way of portraying their sacrifice!

In reading some of the history of Memorial Day, I also found it fascinating that when the day became an official holiday, the intent was to tie the day to prayer. The Presidential Proclamation read, “The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace; designating a period during such day in which all the people of the United States may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; calling upon all the people of the United States to unite in prayer at such time; and calling upon the newspapers, radio stations, and all other mediums of information to join in observing such day and period of prayer.”

Though we have a National Day of Prayer emphasis now, we would do well to make Memorial Day a special day of prayer for our country. Let us begin by remembering in prayer the families of those who have lost loved ones.