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Target On Your Back
by Bro. Bryan McKelvey

1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417

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I cannot think of Memorial Day, a holiday evolving from a day set aside after the Civil War to commemorate those who died in defense of our country, without thinking of a line from the Gettysburg address: "we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." Around 50,000 from both sides were killed, wounded, or missing after the battle of Gettysburg. Many of the wounded ended up dying. Many of the missing had died. That is a lot of blood shed, soaking into, and consecrating those grounds.  Interestingly, the song that followed the president's two minute speech was "Oh! It Is Great For Our Country To Die." (To die for our country, that is.). Thoughts of this song, the president's dedicatory address, and the soldiers that had died--on both sides--reinforced in my mind the truth that people of the past lived and died for a purpose bigger than themselves. Today the encouraged and practiced world view is that each should live for himself. If one lives for himself, would he ever be willing to die for a purpose greater than himself, for others? Gettysburg's ground was soaked and saturated with the blood of tens of thousands that we might be free. Those thousands paid the colloquially expressed "ultimate sacrifice." Calvary's ground was soaked with the blood of one Man. He gave His life for the freedom of all who will believe. This weekend we remember, we memorialize, all those who gave their lives in defense of our country, thus of our freedoms. We also remember the One who gave His life for our soul's freedom. The soldiers and the Savior all died for a purpose other than, greater than, themselves. There is no memorial day for the one who dies after living only to seek pleasure and prosperity for himself. None.

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