Martin Niemoeller, a World War I hero in Germany, was imprisoned for eight years by Hitler. He spent time in prisons and concentration camps, including Dachau. Hitler realized if Niemoeller could be persuaded to join his cause then much of his opposition would collapse, so he sent a former friend of Niemoeller’s to visit him, a friend who supported the Nazis.
Seeing Niemoeller in his cell, the onetime friend said, “Martin, Martin! Why are you here?”
Niemoeller replied, “My friend! Why are you not here?”
As we approach Memorial Day, let us remember those who stood for what was right. Let us remember those who were willing to undergo hardship and suffering and even death, so that right would triumph over wrong and evil. Let us remember those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we might enjoy the freedom we have.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” We must remember that everything we enjoy in this life was provided by someone’s blood.
Many shed their blood so that we might live in this great country and enjoy the freedom it provides. Many have died to keep that freedom strong. We must remember that though our freedom is ours to enjoy, it was purchased at a great cost. It was purchased by the blood of the patriots who envisioned something far greater than themselves.
Let us also remember that our freedom as God’s people was purchased by the blood of Christ. The freedom from our sin and shame was bought with great sacrifice and with much suffering.
So, whether it is the freedom of our great country or the freedom of souls, let us give thanks for those who sacrificed their all.