Memorial Day

May 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,

This month, our nation will commemorate Memorial Day. God has blessed our nation with the freedom to worship. As believers in Jesus, we know that freedom for slavery to sin is not free. Jesus, true God and true man, gave his life as a ransom for many, paying for our redemption with His holy, precious, innocent blood.

As Americans, the freedoms we enjoy are not free. On Memorial Day we remember the service and sacrifice of the more than 1.3 million American veterans who have given their lives so that we might live free. While we give thanks for all veterans and current military who serve to protect our nation, this month we especially remember those who sacrificed their lives for this nation.

In a letter to his wife a few weeks before the Normandy landing General Dwight Eisenhower wrote: “It is terribly sad business to total up the casualties each day…and to realize how many youngsters are gone forever…war demands real toughness of fiber, not only in the soldiers who must endure, but in the homes that must sacrifice the best.”

Behind all the conflicts between nations and people, there is a reality that is expressed in a song from the civil war: The Battle Hymn of the Republic. In seeking to establish his justice and punish sin, evil and oppression, God uses one sinful nation to punish another sinful nation. Yet in all of this, Martin Luther wrote there is a mystery in all of this, the victor nation is not always the most righteous nation.

In his Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln captured the struggle for freedom:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Let us never forget the eternal value of every human life. On Memorial Day, even as we remember and mourn those who gave their lives for our freedom, let us devote ourselves to the great task for which they gave their lives, to live free.

Pastor James L Kroonblawd
American Wars: Killed In Action
Revolutionary War…………25,324
War of 1812………………….2,260
Mexican War……………….13,283
Civil War…………………..650,000
Spanish American War……..7,166
World War I………………..116,708
World War II……………….408,206
Korean War…………………54,246
Vietnam War………………..58,223
Persian Gul War………………..363
Iraq…………………………… 4,212

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. It's difficult to prove the origins of this day as over two dozen towns and cities lay claim to be the birthplace. In May 1966, President Lyndon Johnson stepped in and officially declared Waterloo N.Y. the birthplace of Memorial Day.

Regardless of the location of origins or the exact date, one thing is crystal clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War (which ended in 1865) and a desire to honor our dead. On the 5th of May in 1868, General John Logan who was the national commander of the Grand Army of the republic, officially proclaimed it in his General Order No. 11. Read more
Remembering on Memorial Day
May 25, 2017

By: Rev. Dr. Robert Holaday
Originally printed in Lamb County Leader News May 24, 2017. Section 1, p. 4.

The motto of The Lutheran Reformation, “The Word of the Lord Endures Forever,” comes to mind as I ponder the coming Memorial Day.
Almost a half millennium has passed since Lutheran Princes bound together, under this motto, in a military league to defend their belief that Scripture Alone is the basis for what we believe. Closely linked to this was their understanding, growing from their Bible study, that God pours forth His gifts to us by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone. They risked life, death and property for these truths.

We continue to see the conviction that faith is worth our very lives as we see Middle Eastern Christians martyred by terrorists. In our protected spaces we give thanks that these threats to our liberties are “over there,” wherever “over there” may be. We share the pain of other believers while wondering, “Am I willing to give up everything, even life, for Jesus?”
As Christians we mourn the conflicts that spread through Europe in the sixteenth century. We mourn the need for current wars. Yet, this coming weekend, as we remember America’s fallen dead, we recall that we too believe some things are worth both life and death. This weekend we mourn the reality of war, while we remember with thanksgiving the sacrifices of those who gave their lives to preserve our liberties.

This Memorial Day, as we recall the sacrifices of our fallen dead, let us remember that life is so precious and valuable that there are things for which it is worthwhile to die. The greatest evidence that it can be worth giving up life itself is seen in Jesus Christ. He gave up His life to pay for our sins and win our salvation. The proof of His victory is His resurrection, which guarantees the resurrection of all who rest in Him.

Christ on the front lines: Remembering the fallen
By Stacey Egger

Each Memorial Day, Americans remember those who have given their lives in service to their country. But for countless active military members, veterans and their families and friends, such remembrance is an everyday reality.

“We don’t need a day to remember the fallen,” said LCMS Navy Chaplain Eric Malmstrom, “because that’s every day. That’s every single day, where I see [their] faces … [and] remember their stories. … That’s a part of who we are probably for the rest of our lives.”

But, adds Malmstrom, “Memorial Day is a day that everybody else can join with us and remember them.” Read more of this encouraging article. 
Trusting God in War and Peace
An encounter in 1945 has resulted in blessings for children in the Philippines today.

Story by Megan K. Mertz, Summer 2018

Seventy-three years ago, Melvin Bockelman, currently a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Olathe, Kan., had an experience that he says he will “take to his grave.”

On a hot day in 1945, his ship docked for repairs in Manila Bay in the Philippines, and he and several crew members were sent ashore, even though there was active fighting nearby.

“There was death and destruction everywhere,” Bockelman recalls. Bombs were still exploding in the distance, and the ground was littered with the bodies of Filipino civilians who had been killed by retreating enemy combatants.

Among the chaos and destruction, Bockelman saw a little boy — maybe 7 or 8 years old — running around crying. He took the boy back to the ship, where he cleaned him up and gave him some food. Although the boy spoke English, he was so “shell-shocked” that Bockelman wasn’t able to learn his name or what had happened to his parents.

Standing Ready
By Adriane Dorr
Lutheran Witness, Aug. 2012, p.12-17
Perhaps the most difficult situation chaplains will face is telling a family that their soldier has died in service to the United States. “When they open that door and they see two people in the absolute best dress uniform you’ll ever see in your life, they look,” Hokana says, “and then they look again. And when they make that second look, they know that their life is forever changed.”

Chaplain Mark Nuckols serves as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas. Previously deployed to Iraq as a chaplain in the Army Reserve, he recalls his own struggles while caring for soldiers: “Reading theology is what helped me get through many, many difficult things. Herman Sasse and Luther were two of my best companions [while deployed] because of the difficulties they went through, because they stayed faithful in a very difficult environment.” That’s just one of the blessings of Lutheran theology, he says, the way that it “can look at something very, very violent like war and not try to sugarcoat it . . . but deal with it head-on. That’s the theology of the cross.” Source
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Ministry to the Armed Forces (MAF) is authorized as the mission arm of the Synod to support and serve all military chaplains — active and reserve — their families and the veteran population. LCMS Chaplains have a long history of service to our country. MAF recruits, interviews and endorses all military chaplains; sponsors annual training for all chaplains; and maintains close, pastoral relationships with chaplains after endorsement, offering counsel, training and advice throughout their entire careers. Click to view this inspiring message.
In Memorium
Names of those buried in TLO Cemetery who served in the US Armed Forces:

Clarence L Alsip, Staff SGT US Army. World War II
Charles W. Anderson, Veteran
Douglas C. Bjork, PFC US Army  
Marshall S. Davis, LT Army Air Force, World War II
Robert (Sam) Dehrer, GM3 US Navy, World War II
Walter A. Heuer, Sr., PVT 306 Field Arty, World War I      
Richard O. Holz, PFC US Army, World War II
Roland K. Johnson, MOMM3 US Navy, Herbert W. Pieper
PFC US Army, World War II
Fred J. Pietsch. US Army, Korea
Marvin C. Ratzlaff, SGT Air National Guard
Albert C. Schmidt, PVT 17 Recruit, World War II 
Donald H. Schmidt, SP4 Cavalry Div., Killed in Action,Vietnam                    
Gustav H. Schmidt, PVT 20 Engineers, World War II
Lester A Siedschlag, SGT US Army, Korea              
Martin Garred Stock, CM1 US Navy Reserves, World War II
Dorothy L. Trapp, SKD2 US Navy, World War II

Please contact TLO if you'd like to add a name to our roster.
Cemetery Etiquette
Pastor John Diener

Yes, Memorial Day or Decoration Day marks a time to honor those who died in military service and to remember all our loved ones who have passed on before us. But for many it has simply become the official beginning of Summer - with a four-day weekend, graduation parties, school vacations, visiting campgrounds, opening pools, hosting barbeques, and possibly consuming beverages of all kinds. But this article is not about any of those. It’s about intentionally visiting the graves of loved ones.

Please do visit the graves of loved ones. Some people want nothing to do with a cemetery. “It just creeps me out,” they say. Others respond, “I gave them flowers while they were living, so I wouldn’t have to visit a cemetery.” While others remark, “Their soul is in heaven. It’s only the shell that remains in the grave. What’s the use of visiting a cemetery?” But actually, it’s of great value for you. Read more
Eternal Father, Strong to Save
Original Navy Hymn version

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Lutheran Service Book 717

Learn the history of this hymn
Lutheran Center for Religious Freedom
From Dr. Gregory Seltz

Each day we are in a battle with the devil. We use many weapons to fight him, including the Word of God found in the Holy Scriptures. Dr. Seltz gives us an encouraging and powerful word from the Bible each Monday. See to subscribe and receive this word to your personal inbox each week.

Support our Troops: Care Package Instructions — A simple care package helps our chaplains reach out to our men and women in uniform. Using everyday items, chaplains can build relationships to spiritually support our servicemen and women.
From God's Word
Obey your [spiritual] leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).
Prayer for Chaplains
Jesus, my Good Shepherd, You have called various people to serve as ministers, designated undershepherds, who are charged to care for the souls of Your people. Some of those individuals have volunteered to serve both You and their country in the office of Chaplain. Theirs is a difficult job. They serve the Prince of Peace, but may end up doing so upon the battlefield. They preach the life that comes from having You as Savior, but they may do so surrounded by death. They take orders from those above them, but must remain loyal to You, the highest authority. Dear Lord, I give thanks for these shepherds who hear my confession, offer forgiveness, share the Word of God, administer Your Sacraments and genuinely care for me. Please, keep them safe. Let them not just say the words You would have them speak, let them also live the office to which they have been called. I ask it in Your name. Amen.
Memorial Day prayer
Lord Jesus, we are very thankful for the service and sacrifice of our men and women in our nation’s armed forces. Especially do we remember those who paid the ultimate price in giving their lives for our freedom. May we never take for granted the freedoms and opportunities that our nation provides for all people. May this Memorial Day also be an occasion for us to celebrate with joy Jesus’ victory over death by laying down His life for us, His friends, on the cross. May His unfathomable love teach and prompt us to care and love others as they are in need. Bless our nation and its leaders. Grant them wisdom, compassion and strength. Let their hope be in you and govern accordingly with both justice and mercy. Move all of us to work together forging a compassionate and peaceful nation. With the joy of Jesus in our hearts, use us to be ambassadors of your love for the welfare of our community, nation and the world. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen
Prayer for World Leaders
Lord of the Nations, One of the great blessings You have given to me is the honor of living in a democratic country. I know the United States is not perfect, but she still stands head and shoulders above so many nations where freedom is neither condoned, allowed, or practiced. For that reason I consider it an honor to defend my country against all who would clip the wings of the American eagle and do her harm. This day, so there might be true peace throughout the world, I ask that You will touch the hearts of those rulers who oppress their people, who rob from and murder them. Let each dictator and tyrant know that You are the one who has placed them in a position where they might serve and not enslave; where they might help, and not hurt those who are in their charge. May they know the day will come when they shall stand before You to answer for all they have done. This I pray in Your holy name. Amen.
From God's Word
There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1).

Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950 Highway 55
Eagan, MN 55121