National Chaplain's Message
Harvey H. Klee
National Chaplain of the American Legion
The month of May is filled with notable observed holidays: Law Day, Loyalty Day, National Day of Prayer, Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, and more. However, there's only one federal holiday in May and that's the most important one: Memorial Day.
There's little that can be said about Memorial Day that perhaps hasn't already been said, but the thing to remember is that we continue to say it over and over again, giving thanks to God that such men and women have lived among us.
To quote James A. Garfield, “If silence is ever golden, it must be beside the graves of men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. They summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
When words fail me, I turn to Scripture: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)
Our gratitude this day goes to those who made it possible for us to “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” and by so doing, their sacrifice has not been in vain. Let us take the legacy they have provided to make a better world for ourselves and the generations to follow.
May we “highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” said 16th President Abraham Lincoln.
After turning to Scripture, I then turn to prayer:
We pray today for the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation. May they be comforted in their sadness. May they be reassured that the sacrifice of their loved ones contributes to a worthy cause. May they be proud of those they have lost, entrusting their ultimate fate into your gracious hands.
Even as we remember those who have given their lives in the past, we also think of those whose lives are on the line today. Protect them. Encourage them. Bring them home safely ... and soon.
Harvey H. Klee
National Chaplain 2016-2017