Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was instituted to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. After World War I, the purpose of the day was expanded to include all men and women who died in U.S. military service. Today, Memorial Day is mainly thought of as the unofficial start of summer–a long weekend with a car race, playoff basketball, and brats and burgers on the grill.Below is an outline of Kevin's main points--but of course to see the explanation and justification for each you'll have to read the whole thing:
It is always tricky to know how the church should or shouldn’t celebrate patriotic holidays. Certainly, some churches blend church and state in such a way that the kingdom of God morphs into a doctrinally-thin, spiritually nebulous civil religion. But even with this dangers, there are a number of good reasons why Christians should give thanks for Memorial Day.
1. Being a soldier is not a sub-Christian activity. . . .
2. The life of a soldier can demonstrate the highest Christian virtues. . . .
3. Military service is one of the most common metaphors in the New Testament to describe the Christian life. . . .
4. Love of country can be a good thing. . . .
5. This may be controversial to some, but I believe the facts of history will demonstrate that on the whole, the United States military has been a force for good in the world. . . .