Susan and I are still under quarantine, so we could not celebrate Memorial Day weekend in Hawaii as we often do by visiting the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in the Punchbowl. Nor could we visit the graves of relatives buried in Utah, as did our children. Yet we celebrated another sort of Memorial Day nonetheless. We celebrated a Memorial Sunday as we do each week when we partake of the sacrament.
As we ate the bread and drank the water, we remembered a valiant hero who died to make us free. In spite of unfathomable suffering, he did not shirk his duty nor shrink from the field where the victory was to be won, even at the cost of his life. Rather, in strict obedience to the will of his superior, the Father, he faced death, sacrificing his life so that we could live.
Lest we forget his sacrifice, we are privileged to experience a Memorial Day every Sunday. Indeed, we are commanded to always remember him. So, every day ought to be a Memorial Day of sorts.
This Memorial Day weekend, I was grateful for the chance to formally memorialize the sacrifice of the Lord of Hosts, who laid down his life so that we could be free from sin and death, forever. While I could not go to the cemetery to decorate graves of loved ones with flowers or place a flag on the grave of my father and father-in-law, who both were World War II veterans, I did kneel at the sacrament table and solemnly uncover and cover the emblems of my Lord’s body and blood. Then, as I meditated during the ordinance, I revisited the field of his last battles. In spirit, I watched with him at the garden, knelt at the cross, and visited the tomb. Only the tomb was empty, as will be the graves of all the dead “on that great gettin’ up morning.”
After the ordinance, I shared these memorial reflections with Susan. What a sweet Memorial Sunday! May the Sabbath Day always be for us a Memorial Day!