I was doing a little research into Memorial Day and in my google search one of the first items which appears is Memorial Day sales in store and online begin at midnight. As International Business Times reported in past years, shoppers can expect to save big in-store at department stores like Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, J. C. Penney and big box retailers like Walmart and Target. According to a ChargeItSpot study published Wednesday, 76 percent of shoppers at malls across the country who planned to shop on the holiday said they’d opt for brick-and-mortar locations over online shopping.
Other search items produced have to do with what to eat – BBQ – Hot Dogs and Hamburgers… what beer to drink, or what to say and what not to say on Memorial Day… that it is not a day to say “Happy” because it is a day of remembrance of those who died in battle for this country. So, a lot of the findings were about Memorial Day etiquette… how to be politically correct.
I believe today to be a day to ponder our thankfulness for all those who served with all they had… gave all they had in the face of unbelievable circumstances. Our local community… Guilford and Forsyth Counties of Piedmont North Carolina have built the Carolina Field of Honor to honor those who served and those who died. It is a beautifully inspiring place which is indeed a peaceful place of honor.
I enjoy an even greater honor by having my brick just below the brick of a Horse Calvary soldier, William McBryar who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. This wasn’t just any U.S. Horse Calvary soldier… this guy was one of the famed Buffalo Soldiers. How Cool is that.
Sergeant William McBryar was the sole member of the Tenth U. S. Cavalry to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery during the Indian Campaigns. Enlisting in 1887, two years after the Tenth left Fort Davis, McBryar was more educated than most recruits, having attended three years of college and being proficient in Spanish. In the spring of 1890, McBryar was a member of a small detachment tracking a band of Apaches in southeastern Arizona Territory. As the troopers entered a canyon near Fort Thomas, the Apaches attacked. The ensuing conflict was short but decisive for the army. Sergeant McBryar was honored with the Medal of Honor for demonstrating “coolness, bravery, and good marksmanship” under extremely difficult circumstances.
When I think of the Horse Soldier or the Horse Calvary, my mind goes back to all those old Calvary pictures we saw growing up. Seventh Calvary with Randolph Scott, John Wayne in the Horse Soldier or Fort Apache, and tons more. Sgt. McBryar was not an actor but an educated Calvary Sergeant who was singled out for his bravery and honor in the heat of battle. I just think it is so cool for me to have my little brick next to this CMH winner.
Today if you get the chance take a little time searching the names and circumstances of men and women who gave their lives that you and I could have the opportunity to live in freedom… they are all around us.
In the WWII Armed Forces Prayer Book I found this prayer I would like to share with us this morning. It is the kind of prayer that gives us strength as we go into battle.
FOR A DAY OF BATTLE
Heavenly Father, on a day of battle I commit myself body and soul to thy keeping. When I am in peril of life give me courage to do my duty. When I am tempted to sin give me strength to resist. If I am sick or wounded grant me healing. If I fall, of thy mercy receive me to thyself, forgiving me all my sins. Bless all who are near and dear to me and keep them in thy fatherly care. And in thy good providence, out of this evil bring a lasting peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.