Remembering Their Sacrifice

Thomas Graffeo |

Summer is nearly upon us. Graduations are occurring, schools are getting out, the Major League Baseball season is in full swing, and the days are getting warmer.  And Monday is Memorial Day.

Sadly, this day is not always given the respect it deserves and seems to be noteworthy to most only as a 3-day weekend that launches summer.  It is so much more than that.  Memorial Day is a day to remember those in our armed services who gave their lives for our freedoms, liberties, and prosperity.  Although many of my (Rob) family members have served in our armed services, including my son-in-law as a Marine officer in Afghanistan, no one in the last four generations of military service has made that ultimate sacrifice.

My most distinct Memorial Day memory, since 2007, is of 2nd Lieutenant Mark Daily.  Mark was a Woodbridge High (Irvine) graduate who then attended Saddleback College and UCLA where he graduated with honors.  His sister went to high school with one of my daughters. Mark served in the Army as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was killed January 15, 2007, by insurgents, just three months into his tour. Mark gave his life to save several members of his unit from the attack.  He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart for his service to his country. I attended his memorial service at Mariners Church in Irvine and the tributes from classmates, instructors, family and friends, and our military services was incredibly inspirational.  Mark was a born leader, mentor, and hero who willingly served our country out of his passion to assist the oppressed and made the greatest sacrifice.  And the sacrifice was not his alone. Mark left behind a wife of less than a year, mom and dad, siblings and other loved ones who still grieve and I am sure wonder, ‘Was it worth it?’. 

Each Memorial Day, I message Mark’s parents and offer my memory of Mark and my gratefulness for his sacrifice and let them know I am praying for them in their loss and grief.  Sixteen years have passed since his death, but I don’t want his family to think for a moment that he is forgotten.  This is just one way to ‘remember’ the sacrifices made by our military community so we can enjoy the freedoms we have. 

From a spiritual side, there is of course a parallel.  Christ died on our behalf so that we could know forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.  We enjoy the benefits of citizenship is the kingdom of God because of Christ’s voluntary and necessary sacrifice.  All of us can have a freedom from the penalty of sin because of Christ’s sacrifice. Regularly, as Christ-followers we ‘remember’ his death and sacrifice through our celebration of communion or the Lord’s Supper.  Paul says, ‘whenever you eat of this bread or drink of this cup, do so in remembrance of Him.’ 

So, this Memorial Day embrace ‘remembrance’ – remembrance of the soldiers who have died for our nation and remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for each of us. All of us at Dove Investments hope you will take time to recognize the fallen.

The Dove Investments Team