Bob Tamasy: Value – And Importance – Of Remembering

Monday, May 26, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Every year we observe Memorial Day, a time of remembrance and reflection about the sacrifices of men and women who have served our country in wars and conflicts around the world. When we consider the costs paid over nearly two-and-a-half centuries, this commemoration should never cease.

Can you imagine what the world – let alone our nation – would be like if the Revolutionary War had not been fought? If the Civil War had never been waged? Or if World War I and World War II had not been undertaken to oppose tyranny and thwart the advance of evil? 

The war in Vietnam and the various conflicts in the Middle East have been far more controversial. But the sacrifices made – including the thousands of lives lost and the paralyzing and disabling injuries suffered – by our military entitle them to great honor and our full appreciation.

My father served in World War II in both infantry and armored divisions, experiencing battle on fronts in both Europe and Africa and being wounded twice. He was still in active service in the U.S. Army as fighting in Vietnam began to escalate, and after more than 22 years of service he elected to retire. “I’m not going both for the third bullet,” he stated with great honesty. 

He knew too well the horrors of war. I still remember nights he would awaken screaming, no doubt emerging from a nightmare that revisited one of the horrific moments of confronting and doing battle with the enemy. Unlike the depiction of theatrical films of the 1940s and ‘50s, war was not fun.

Even for those of us that never saw a moment of wartime conflict, knowing what others have done on our behalf is worth our remembrance. In Washington, D.C. various memorials assist with this remembering process, ranging from the picturesque Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials to newer memorials to honor those who died in the world wars and Vietnam. 

Holocaust memorials have been created not only in Germany and Poland where the death camps were located, but also in other parts of the world. Recently the 9/11 Memorial Museum was opened in New York City to honor the victims of that horrific day and “bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and Feb. 26, 1993.”

Of course, this practice of using memorials to trigger our memories is hardly new. It’s been used in many societies and figures prominently in the pages of the Bible. After the Israelites finished crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God instructed Joshua to appoint leaders for each of the 12 tribes to remove a large stone from the river floor and arrange them “to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:7). 

The Israelites were instructed to observe various annual festivals and feasts to impress upon their collective memory how God had intervened on their behalf to preserve a chosen nation of people that has continually defied the odds of survival.

When a woman poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ head, He quieted her critics with His declaration, “When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, whenever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matthew 26:12-13). 

And all around the world, followers of Christ participate in a regular memorial service called the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. Writing to believers in the city of Corinth, the apostle Paul recounted Jesus’ final meal with His disciples: “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you, do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me’ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

So this Memorial Day we pause and reflect on those, as we will hear said repeatedly, that gave “the ultimate sacrifice.” And so we should. But as we do so, those of us that profess Christ as Savior and Lord should also take a moment and observe a different kind of memorial, a remembrance for the One that truly made the Ultimate Sacrifice, willingly enduring death on a cross to make atonement for the countless sins of mankind. 

That is truly worth remembering.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


'It Really God Bad In A Hurry' Is Sunday's Topic At Middle Valley

Middle Valley Church of God announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'It Really God Bad In A Hurry '  in the  10:30 a.m.  service this  Sunday .  This is part of a sermon series titled 'We Have To Find A Way To Fix This Problem.'  This new sermon series will focus on the need for redemption ... (click for more)

Bruce Tidwell Called As Bishop Of The Brainerd Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints

Bruce Tidwell was called as the Bishop of the Brainerd congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3067 Ooltewah Ringgold Road in Ooltewah. Mr. Tidwell will serve as the ecclesiastical leader of the Brainerd congregation for a period of about five years without pay. He has served in many different positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, ... (click for more)

Dallas Bay Firefighters Save Home After Kitchen Fire, But 2 Dogs Die

Dallas Bay firefighters saved a home from burning to the ground on Saturday afternoon. Around 1 p.m., the homeowner called 911 reporting a house fire located at 1856 Cotter Road. Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting heavy smoke pouring out the front door. Dallas Bay VFD requested a mutual aid response for Red Bank Fire Department ... (click for more)

Man, 39, Shot Late Friday Night In The Vicinity Of North Chamberlain Avenue

Police said a 39-year-old man was shot late Friday night in the vicinity of North Chamberlain Avenue.   He was identified as Ruben Williams Sr.   Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were informed just before midnight that a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital via personal vehicle.   Officers made contact with the victim who advised ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)