Welcome to Indian Point Presbyterian Church!
We welcome you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
June Pastor’s Letter
Dear Friends in Christ,
Here we are at Memorial Day and the end of May. We have been observing Memorial Day for more than 100 years. It was at the end of a brutal war, the Civil War, in which brother fought brother, and best of friends became worst enemies. It was one of the worst wars ever fought by the people of this nation, and it was on our own soil. At the end of this war, family members of many soldiers slain in battle, would visit the grave sites of their fallen relatives or friends and decorate their graves with flowers. On May 4, 1868, General John Logan, then President of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed this day a holiday through his General Order no. 11. The day was entitled “Decoration Day,” and was first observed on May 30, 1868, 149 years ago. It was declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate with “flowers on the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when for federal employees, the date was changed to the last Monday in May. All states, with the exception of Louisiana, adopted the change.
After World War I, the day was set aside to honor all of the American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in Arlington National Cemetery. It is a very moving ceremony, and everyone in attendance, is affected by it. We also honor our Vets by placing a small flag on all graves each year.
Many people see Memorial Day as a “day off”, a three day week-end, but for those who have lost someone because of war, military action, or other reasons, it means much more than a day off. In fact, every American ought to recognize this day out of his/her patriotic duty, and for others who have made sacrifices during their lifetime. Because men and women have died for this country, we have the right to preach and listen to God’s word freely. We have the right to live at peace in our own homes. We have the right to pursue peace, prosperity and happiness. We need to thank God for those who died to make us free, and for relatives who also made many sacrifices during their lifetime.
And, as we prepare to remember those who died for liberty, it is fitting that we remember the One who died to set us free from spiritual tyranny. Jesus fought the armies of Hell that we might have liberty in His holy name. Every Sunday of the year is a celebration of the Memorial of Christ. Every Sunday is a Memorial Day.
Then just a few weeks later, in June, we honor all the fathers. Many men are not biological “dads”, but fill the role as uncle, big brother, mentor, or good friend. During the years, many men fall into these categories and play a very important part in a young person’s life, making a big difference in decisions and activities of boys and girls.
Father’s Day began in 1913 by 27 year old Sonora Dodd to honor her Dad who had raised her when her Mom died in childbirth. She felt Dads should be celebrated in the same way Mothers were. It didn’t gain much status until 1924 when President Coolidge was in office. The holiday gained traction during World War II, and in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day. In 1972, President Nixon made it a federal holiday.
According to a recent census, there are approximately 70 million dads in U.S., (seems low to me) with 2 million dads being single. More than 214,000 men are stay-at-home dads. In Germany, on Father’s Day, men drink beer all day at beer gardens. I think I prefer the cook-outs and family gatherings much more, but then – I’m not a Dad.
May you all have a truly blessed and safe Memorial Day. And, to all the Dad’s out there – Happy Father’s Day.