Each Memorial Day the leaders of our country honor who have made our freedom possible with their lives by gathering at Arlington National Cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the perfect example of the sacrifice many have paid. Since we now have DNA testing there may never be another unknown soldier but there are nearly 5,000 unknowns from past wars buried at Arlington. The Unknown Soldier stands in contrast to those who have gone to schools, churches and other public places and harmed scores of people. The quickest way to become known to the world is to commit a catastrophic act. On one day the person is relatively unknown, after some acts there may be few that would not recognize their name or picture. It has always been this way, we even know the middle names of those who have assassinated important officials. It has been hypothesized that there have been so many conspiracy theories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy because of the contrast between his life and that of his alleged assassin. It is truly as the book of Ecclesiastes (9:18) says, “. . .one sinner destroys much good.”
Today we celebrate those who are largely unknown. They come from all parts of our nation and all walks of life. Were it not for their sacrifice we would not be able to assemble, worship, travel freely, and enjoy our way of life. Let us think about them and their sacrifice and do our best to learn their names on this day as we ask ourselves, “Where would we be without the unknowns?”
Pay to all what is owed to them . . . respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.