Would Jesus Celebrate Memorial Day?
The United States has three holidays which honor those who chose war over peace: Veterans' Day (those who fought and lived); Memorial Day (those who fought and died) and Independence Day (those who took up arms to abolish their government). ("Armed Forces Day" is a runner-up.)
Shouldn't a Christian nation like America have a day to honor those who withstood the temptation to violence and vengeance and chose peace instead of choosing war?
"Choose war" -- what about those who were conscripted, as in the Vietnam conflict? They had no choice, right?
They had the power to refuse, even though they may have lost their status or even gone to jail. Jesus underwent worse forms of torture. Even those who are drafted have a choice, and can choose to "do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14), no matter what the penalties.
Cassius Clay converted to Islam and as Muhammad Ali said he would not fight in a "Christian war." Until the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned the decision, Ali lost his right to work and faced 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine ($67,286.73 in 2010 dollars). He gave up the best years of his athletic career to make a point.
Would Jesus honor those who chose to fight (or did not choose not to fight)?
Didn't Jesus say "Blessed are the peacemakers"?
Jesus never said "Bless and honor the warmakers."
It is appropriate to "weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15). We should mourn the senseless loss of fathers, husbands, and sons, and -- perhaps more so -- mothers, wives, and daughters.
But every good human being -- and especially those who claim to follow the Prince of Peace -- should reject war and choose peace.