Memorial Day in their own words

San Diego International Airport San Diego

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — For many Americans, Memorial Day is simply an extra day of rest. But for millions of others, it’s a day of memories and reflections on the friends and family who sacrificed everything in the defense of freedom. These are three stories of ordinary Christians — in their own words — who have faced extraordinary situations and still celebrate the hope that is found in Christ in times of crisis and loss.

Doug Carver, North American Mission Board’s executive director of chaplaincy, said, “I’ll never forget Memorial Day 2003. We had paused in a war zone to think about life, to thank the Lord for those who’d paid the full measure of devotion to duty to our country and to celebrate the good news of Jesus Christ. And then, with a prayer and the ‘amen,’ you’re brought right back to the fact that here we are in a combat zone where young men and women are standing in harm’s way, and the war continues.”

Earnest “Sonny” Roy Jr., retired Marine and Mobile resident, said, “I [recently] went to Okinawa and saw where [my daddy] got killed. My nephew took me, and we visited around all the camps and bases. We found a guy who was a historian over there and gave him my daddy’s name, so he looked him up on the registry. We got to see just about where he got killed.”

Leland Stephens, recently retired Marine gunnery sergeant, said, “As Marine Christians, it’s our job to try to be an influence to lead others to a relationship with Christ, so that regardless of what happens on a battlefield, the eternity is secured.”

To read the full stories, go to

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State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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