Memorial Day. Thank you.

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At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, that long wall of black marble engraved with the names of those killed in the war, people come to remember their friends and loved ones. People often leave tokens of their remembrance: flags, sealed letters, pieces of clothing, photos. Volunteers collect these tokens daily and store them at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection.

A book entitled, Offerings at the Wall, pictures many of these mementos. One man left dog tags, a headband, and a letter that reads, “To all of you here from Echo Company, 1st Marine Division…I leave you my headband which contains my sweat from the war, my dog tag, and a picture of me and Mike. Another time, another place. I’ll never forget you.”

A woman left a braid of hair and a picture of a house with an American flag hanging on the porch. Her note read, “Wayne, I think of you every day and miss you so much. I love you.” Written on one flag was the message, “May all of you who died, all of you still missing, and all of you who returned home never be forgotten.” This weekend may we never forget their courageous sacrifices for the freedoms we enjoy today in our great country.

Because of those who gave their lives while serving our country, we enjoy freedom as Americans. May we never take it for granted. If you ever get a chance, please visit Arlington National Cemetery. I promise you, it will give you a greater appreciation to being an American.

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Of course, at the top of my list of courageous individuals is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly surrendered Himself as the sinless Son of God and became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) even though He was innocent and did no wrong. Because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and defeat over death, hell, and the grave, you and I don’t have to be alone and separated from God by our sin with no hope. By faith in Jesus, we can be eternally set free from the bondage of sin by the blood of Jesus.

Thank you to those who displayed a Christlike love when you laid down you life for your country, and thank you Jesus for laying down your life so mankind might enjoy eternity in heaven where there will be no war, no death, no disease, no sorrow…Thank you.

-Mark Kannarney

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Memorial Day Weekend

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Well this weekend officially begins the summer time as we enjoy Memorial Day weekend! How great it is to live in a country where we have the freedom to spend time with family and friends enjoying parks, ball games, the mountains, the beach, the lake, and of course grilling out and making homemade ice cream (Butterfinger is my favorite)! As we enjoy these special times may we never forget that it is the soldier that gives us the freedoms that we enjoy! The popular saying “freedom isn’t free” is absolutely true! In the history of our country there have been countless soldiers commit to protecting our freedom here in the United States of America. Some of these soldiers returned home to families but some did not. As we enjoy the traditional beginning of summer this weekend be sure to first of all thank God for the blessings from His hand (James 1:17), but also be sure to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The real heroes are not professional ball players, performers, or actors; they are those like PFC Barrett Austin who laid down his life for his country. Be sure to remember the real heroes this Memorial Day weekend.
Also as I think about the ultimate sacrifice, I am grateful for what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did for you and me! He willingly laid down His life for us that we might live! What an incredible price He paid for you and me! What an amazing love!

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:17-18).
God bless,

Mark
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