Have you seen the memorial floral flag grown close to Vandenberg AFB in Lompoc, CA? It contains more than 2 million flowers and covers 6.65 acres of land in the midst of 9+ miles of flower fields grown by seed companies that sweep all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. The flag is 740 feet long by 390 feet wide and maintains the proper U.S. Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834. It’s the first floral flag to be planted with 5 pointed stars, comprised of white larkspur. Each star is 24 feet in diameter; each stripe is 30 feet wide, and the flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each. It’s mind boggling to consider how much creativity, planning, work, and maintenance must be required to “fly” this flag every year, but what a fitting tribute to our country and our soldiers on Memorial Day! Thank you, all who participate in this project!!
Alan and I redid our wills and trust just recently, so the topic of memorials is on my mind. As a people, we owe a huge debt that we’ll never be able to pay to the countless brave men (and women) who have lost their health, become disabled, or even the many who have lost their lives to protect us and provide for our safety. Parents (most parents…good parents) willingly give of their lives for their children in the same way. Jesus, as the One who loves us even more than anyone on earth, gave his life to provide freely the gifts of salvation (life), liberty, and happiness for all who will receive them.
What can we do to repay un-payable debts? There’s a little Sunday school chorus that ends, “So pray, and give, and go.” Sounds about right! We can’t repay the debt of others giving their lives for us, but we can honor them by praying for them (those who are still living), giving to them (like Paralyzed Vets, Father’s Day gifts, and church offerings), and “going” to them. But, how do we “go”? I guess we can support those who are living by our physical presence as we’re able, but for those who’ve died, it struck me that greatest honor we can give them is to emulate their most noble qualities. To plant a field of flowers is fantastic, but it’s not something all of us can do. However, there is one thing we can all do! We can emulate the best qualities of our soldiers, our parents, and our God. Our lives can be an offering and fitting memorial to God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).