Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died in their nation's service.
Today, I honor those Marines and Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen/Airwomen, and members of the Coast Guard who have given their lives when answering their nation's call to service.
Today, I honor those many allies who shared risk with United States service people in various conflicts and who gave their lives for a common cause.
Today, I remember that our "enemies" are not God's enemies, but that all are part of the one human family, and so those who died faithfully serving their countries are also part of my commemorations.
Today, I remember first responders who have rushed into harmful situations to keep their communities safe: firefighters, paramedics and EMTs, and law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives trying to save others.
Today, I remember those courageous freedom fighters who were not enlisted in an official militia or military but who because they dared to challenge Jim Crow, government control of women's bodies, or a system of sexual apartheid against LBGT persons were killed simply for being who they were or for speaking out for the cause of justice. These brave souls are in my remembrances today.
Today, I even remember those we have lost to other fights, such as the fight against cancer or AIDS. Indeed, I say a prayer today for all the departed; may they rest in peace.
This is Memorial Day, and so, with you, I remember.And with you, I pray:
I bless the memories of those who have given their lives in service to their country, community, or humankind. And in their names and for the sake of all life I pray, "may peace prevail on earth!" Amen.
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins