Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

A Lesson in Service and Sacrifice

by Tom McGrath

What we remember—and honor—on Memorial Day is heroic sacrifice. We acknowledge those who nobly gave of themselves, even unto death, for a purpose they believed was greater than themselves. Since the days just following the end of the Civil War, Americans have gathered in late May to honor those who died in military service to their country. In the spirit of the day, we can also recall, honor, and pray for all those we know who have lived lives of service and sacrifice for the good of others.

Read more about living heroically.

 

Sacrifice is more than suffering

One definition of sacrifice is “the destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else.” Though suffering is always a part of sacrifice to some extent, seeking suffering for its own sake is not sacrifice. Sacrifice implies giving up one good for a higher good. For example, a child gives up a day of play to visit an ailing grandparent, or a parent sacrifices watching a favorite television program to help a child who is struggling with homework. Life in the family is full of opportunities for service and sacrifice. 

Read one man’s story of service to others.
Raise your kids to make a difference.

 

Jesus: the perfect example of sacrifice

What counts in this definition is the phrase “for the sake of something else.” Is that “something else” worthy of the sacrifice we make? True sacrifice is always at the service of life. We learn this from Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice and remained faithful through his Passion, death, and Resurrection. Jesus’ greater purpose for this sacrifice was our well-being—that we might have life and have it abundantly. 

Reflect on St. Paul’s life of love and sacrifice.

This Memorial Day, as we remember all who have served and sacrificed on our behalf, let us not forget what Jesus was willing to give up for us—and the lessons we can learn from that perfect example of sacrifice. 


Tom McGrath 

Tom McGrath is the author of Raising Faith Filled Kids, The Meal Box, and is one of the authors of the God’s Gift series.

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Books by Tom McGrath

En torno a la mesa

Preguntas divertidas para compartir la fe en familia

¡Sea tan amable en pasar la sal, la pimienta y En torno a la mesa para iniciar la conversación! Se han combinado preguntas chistosas y creativas que ofrecen siempre consejos prácticos en torno a la fe de los que se podrán beneficiar cada vez que se sienten a la mesa

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The Meal Box

Fun Questions and Family Tips to Get Mealtime Conversations Cookin'

Pass the salt and pepper–along with The Meal Box. Creatively fun questions combined with helpful family faith tips spice up every mealtime conversation. 54 cards in plastic case.

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids

Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home

Offers a generous collection of easy tips and tools to help parents realize a spiritual path and inspire virtue, discipline, and hope in their families.

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Educando hijos en la plenitud de la fe

Raising Faith-Filled Kids (Spanish)

Ofrece una abundante recopilación de consejos e instrumentos fáciles para ayudar a padres y madres a seguir una senda espiritual e inspirar la virtud, la disciplina y la esperanza en sus familias.

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The Beatitudes for Families (50-pack)

In The Beatitudes for Families, the Beatitudes are beautifully presented with original artwork. On one side, you will find the words of Christ as found in Matthew 5:3-10. On the other side, you will find an adapted version of the Beatitudes written specifically for families by Tom McGrath, author of Raising Faith-Filled Kids.

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Las Bienaventuranzas para las familias (50-pack)

El Papa Francisco ha llamado a las Bienaventuranzas un "programa para la santidad" y "el camino a la verdadera felicidad", en otras palabras, la expresión de la esencia del mensaje de Cristo.

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The Works of Mercy for Families (50-pack)

In The Works of Mercy, beautiful artwork surrounds the words taken from the Gospel of Matthew. One side shows the Corporal Works of Mercy and the other shows the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

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Las obras de misericordia para las familias (50-pack)

En Las obras de misericordia las palabras tomadas del Evangelio de Mateo se presentan en un hermoso diseño. De un lado se muestran las obras de misericordia corporales y del otro las obras de misericordia espirituales.

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