Evangelist Franklin Graham shared the relevance of remembering the soldiers who were lost, defending the United States.
In his statement, published on the website of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Rev. Graham said that it is important to remember the lives of those people who paid the price for the Americans' freedom.
"It's extremely important that we remember the price that was paid for our freedom. And that's the lives that were lost fighting the wars of this country. And for us to be able to honor them and remember them, but also to remember to pray for [their] families," he said.
"Especially [with] the recent wars, what we've seen in Afghanistan and 9/11 and all of the troops we have in that part of the world. We still have enemies out there that want to destroy this nation," the evangelist continued.
He added that these individuals have sacrificed by shedding their blood and giving their lives just for freedom of the American people.
"It's important that we remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice where they shed their blood and gave their life for our freedom," he stated.
Mirroring their sacrifice, the evangelist also remembered how Jesus Christ gave His life on the cross for mankind's salvation, gaining spiritual freedom.
"Christ laid down His life so that we could have eternal life. He gave His life and shed His blood for our sins. We deserve the cross; we deserve to die. We're the ones who are guilty. He's not guilty," he declared.
Moreover, he stated that the death of Christ became the hope of man for eternal life.
"But He loved us so much that He took our guilt. He took our shame; He took our sins. And He died in our place and shed His blood on the cross, was buried. But God raised Him to life. And that's our hope. That if we put our faith and trust in Christ, that we'll have eternal life," Rev. Graham concluded.
Further to the website's information, it revealed that the Graham family has supported the military for years and ministered to the wounded veterans and their spouses, as well. Edward, the youngest son of Rev. Graham, is a retired Army Ranger himself.
Initially called "Decoration Day," the observance of Memorial Day began in the years after the Civil War. History says that one of the earliest records of its commemoration was organized by the slaves of Charleston, South Carolina, after the Confederates surrendered in 1865. However in 1966, the government declared Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day, which first celebrated it on May 5, 1866.
But in 1868, General John A. Logan, an organization leader for Northern Civil War veterans, changed the date to May 30. He chose the date since it was not the anniversary of any particular war.
In 1968, The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed in Congress, designating the last Monday of May as Memorial Day. The law, which also declared the day as a federal holiday, took effect in 1971.