In Honor of Memorial Day 2021

See video version of this blog here.

In our nation’s young life, it has seen a lot of war – 12 if you include the current war on terror, plus many domestic and international conflicts. The number of casualties is sobering. Here are just a few of the statistics:

  • Nearly 7,000 U.S. troops have died in the present Global War on Terror. The battle of Gettysburg resulted in more than 7,000 deaths.
  • The deadliest battle in U.S. history was during WW1 when the 47-day Battle of Argonne claimed 26,000 deaths.
  • The bloodiest day in history was The Battle of Antietam, which claimed 23,000 deaths in one
  • The Civil War saw an estimated total of 620,000 deaths. That’s more than half of all Americans who have ever died during wartime; 425 deaths per day, more than any other war.
  • The total of all Americans killed in all U.S. wars is approximately 1.2 million.

Let that sink in – 1.2 million people believed in freedom so deeply they were willing to die for it. They didn’t die for their own freedom. They died for something they wouldn’t be around to enjoy. They died for our freedom – yours, mine, our children and grandchildren… How remarkable is that!

I can’t help wonder this Memorial day, did they die in vain?

I saw a meme on social media the other day that said, “Even if you’re not conspiracy minded, something in your soul has to be telling you something isn’t right with all of this.” Is your soul telling you this too?

What do you imagine those who died for this country would think if they could see our country and our world today?

Perhaps if they could tell us anything, they’d admonish us to not only remember their pain and sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy, but to stand up for them today, at any cost.

I imagine they would advise us to re-embrace the fundamental Biblical principles our nation was founded on, and not to suppress or neglect them (Deut.30:19-20).

Perhaps they’d remind us to teach them diligently to our children as commanded in Scripture, which says in Deuteronomy 6:7,

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Likely they’d counsel us to pray fervently for our country and its leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

However, we cannot expect to continue to embrace evil as good, and reject good as evil, and presume our prayers will be effective. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Fortunately in the Psalmist’s case, the Lord did listen. He went on to say, “but truly the Lord has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”

Wouldn’t you like our country to be able to say that?

In order for that to happen, we must “turn from our wicked ways,” as 2 Chronicles 7:14 says. We so often hear that verse quoted, believing God to hear our prayers and heal our land, but are we doing what it says? Or do we sit this one out when it comes to stopping evil from pervading the fabric of our country? How do we stand when evil is made out to be good and good is made out to be evil?

We may be facing some difficult, unprecedented days. I can’t say what God is doing or will do. But I know this – we need Him. We need His mercy and grace. We need His love and power. We need His wisdom and direction. We need His commandments!

Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” It couldn’t get any clearer than that. (If you don’t believe this, read Psalm 106, which recounts Israel’s wavering and how that worked for them.)

Prayer and a return to biblical values is where our hope lies.

We are all called to war. We are called to prayer. Serious prayer. Fervent prayer. Warfare kind of prayer. We are called to put our spiritual armor on (Ephesians 6:10-18) and report for duty to the God of Heaven’s armies (Psalm 46:7).

Each war that has been fought was not only a fight against flesh and blood, but against the “spiritual forces of evil” that try to destroy our faith and freedom at every step. There may be those who physically go to war, but the spiritual realm is where the battle is won or lost.

We are all called to die for this country, whether we serve in the physical military or not. We die to self each day when put the time and effort into going to battle in fervent prayer. We die to self when we stand up for what’s right, and stop allowing our leaders, the media and Hollywood to call good evil and evil good. We die to self when we stand for those who cannot stand for themselves, whether that’s the unborn or our own children who will have to live the world we leave them.

May we remember what made this nation so strong, so free and so successful. May we once again embrace the Biblical values that blessed our country, and may we continue to stand up for those values. And may we continue to pray for our great nation and its leaders.

Ronald Reagan said,

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, we’ll be a nation gone under.”

I believe he was correct.

Let’s close with this:

In Deuteronomy 30:15-20 God gave warnings to the Israelites, which are true for us today as well. Here’s the NLT version, shortened a bit:

Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.  For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands … by walking in his ways. If you do this … the Lord your God will bless you and the land … “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, … you will certainly be destroyed. … (in other words, when follow the way of the enemy, it will destroy them!)

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses … Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. …”

The key to life.

Maybe you’ve heard it said that, “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you – the American soldier, and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, but the other died for your soul.”

Jesus Christ died for your soul’s eternal freedom. John 3:16 basically says God loved us so much He came to us in the person of Jesus Christ to be the sacrifice for our sins, and all we have to do is believe and follow.

Verse 17 goes on to say, “God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but I order that the world would be saved thru Him.

Romans 5:8 tells us God demonstrated that love to us in that even while we were still sinning, Christ died for us.

It is my prayer that you believe and place your trust in Jesus Christ today, who loves you so much He died for you, even more remarkably than the soldiers who died for our country.

I hope that as you remember what these brave men did for us, you won’t forget to remember what Jesus Christ did for you too.

God bless you, and God bless America!


You won’t want to miss next time for a special guest post by my writer friend and treasure hunter, Stephanie Pavlantos. Hmm, what could she have found? Come back and see! Make sure you’re signed up for my blog so you won’t miss it! When you do, you can receive my new FREE ebook, downloadable from my website w/a devotion and a coloring page.

If you’d like to explore how we can pray for our country, check out some of the other blogs on my website. There’s a couple specifically for praying for our country and our leaders, and another called, “Prayer is not cancelled.”

And you can check out my book,

Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World




Winner of the 2020 Selah Award, Bible study category.


  1. Karen on May 28, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    so touched .. you blended both love of Jesus and prayer for our country…definitely time for all to be praying. Loved where you recorded at…..

  2. Kim Doran on May 29, 2021 at 2:44 am

    So glad to have read this blog. All to often it is easy to take for granted the freedom we have until it is challenged. I needed this reminder of all those that laid down their lives so we could live freely. The utmost gratefulness to the Lord for without his sacrifice we would not be here to talk about freedom. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Veterans.

  3. Judy Munnis on May 30, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    This is so powerful and amazing. Thank you for your words and inspiration. Thank you for your prayers for our nation. Thank you for telling us we need God and we need to pray fervently. I’ve shared this on my Facebook and with all of my family members. Thank you for reminding us who is in charge and who we need to bow our heads to, our one and only God.

  4. Penny Cooke on May 31, 2021 at 1:06 am

    Thanks so much, Karen. It was quite an emotional experience to go there. It really fueled my conviction as I recorded. Hugs…

  5. Penny Cooke on May 31, 2021 at 1:08 am

    Thank you for comments, Kim. Loved, “without his sacrifice we would not be here to talk about freedom.” Amen! Well said.

  6. Penny Cooke on May 31, 2021 at 1:12 am

    You’re welcome, but thank YOU, Judy! Yes, we need God and we need to pray. Prayer changes things. He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Thanks again for your comments. God bless and hugs…

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