I am a mom whose son has gone to war and, praise the Lord, came home. As such, this and every Memorial Day serve as a reminder of how fortunate I am.
Memorial Day is not a holiday about my son’s service, but about the sacrifice of those who never came home.
There has been an enormous price paid for each and every American.
Many years ago, my family went and saw a play entitled 1776. This play recounted the story of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. As I watched, I was filled with shame…I did not know who the characters were. Sure, I knew John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson. The Adams brothers were easy to recognize as was Benjamin Franklin, but outside of those people made famous by signatures, stoves and beer, I couldn’t name another signer of the Declaration. I love history, and I love America, and yet…
At the time I was working in a restaurant and I began asking my customers if they could name more than six signers of the Declaration of Independence. I began by offering a free cup of coffee to anyone who could do it. Soon I was offering the whole table drinks, for just one person with the right answers. After asking hundreds of people without ever having one person have the right information, I began offering free food to entire tables if collectively they could recall just 6 of the men who gave everything so that we might be free.
Not once did a single person have the answers. I gave free food to one guy because he was so excited. He was wrong, but he was enthusiastic.
This is the document that changed the entire world:
Recently in Bible Study with my friends I was reminded of Exodus 1:8: “Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph.”
Joseph was the Israelite who was sold into slavery in Egypt, gained enormous respect from the Egyptian leaders and was used by God to wisely steward Egypt’s resources and save the people from famine. Joseph was the reason the Israelites came to Egypt and prospered. Because of Joseph and all he had done for the Egyptians, the Israelites were treated well and lived happily until a leader came along who did not know Joseph. His lack of knowledge about and respect for history caused him to treat the Israelites horribly and turned them into slaves.
How like the king of Egypt am I? I do not know those who came before me and stewarded the freedom I now enjoy, and perhaps as a result a lack of gratitude enslaves me somehow. And so the Exodus 1:8 project. Over the next several months we will highlight the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Through acknowledging those who made the history that gives us so much, I hope to walk into the future with a greater appreciation for all God has given this nation.
Will you join me? I will begin soon, by researching George Reed, Caesar Rodney and Thomas McKean of Delaware, and sharing their stories. Brighten A Corner is story driven…These stories matter to me. I want them to matter to my children. I would love it if they mattered to you.