This is Memorial Day weekend. For many, it’s a time to see family and friends, fire up the grill, compete in some yard games and maybe even roast marshmallows…but it is so much more.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, originated after the Civil war. Throughout our American history, thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Author Stephen Ambrose wrote about World War II, “At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn’t want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought and won, and we, all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful.”

When Leigh-Ann and I started dating, I was privileged to get to know her grandfather Edward McCarthy. He served during World War II and on D-Day was the pilot of a Higgins boat. These are flat bottomed boats made to transport 36 soldiers from sea to shore.

Eddy was one of the 1,500 Higgins boat pilots that drove back and forth all day, transporting soldiers to Juno Beach. From what I’ve heard and read, the soldier’s emotions ranged joking and laughing to sadness and crying. Eddy shared how many of his friends and fellow soldiers couldn’t keep their breakfast down as they faced the reality of possible death right in front of them. And then the boat arrived on the beach, the front gate was opened, the soldiers ran up onto the beach and Eddy turned around to pick up another load.

Boatload after boatload of soldiers in their late teens and early twenties arrived on the beach, risking their lives for their fellow Americans, many of whom they had never met.

World War II changed the course of history. A total of 300 Million soldiers from more than 150 countries saw combat with about 72 million dying.

The Allied forces defeated the Axis powers to end World War II, but it couldn’t have happened without strong partnerships.

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing our final core value, “Partnering for Impact.” We will study from Ephesians 2:11-22 and learn how walls between Jews and Gentiles were smashed down and Jesus created a new entity that is not defined by our differences but rather is defined by our unified faith in Christ.

We know the Kingdom of God is bigger than New Life CityChurch. We want to wield our influence, resources, and networks with others in collaboration to serve God’s vision for our city.

I sure hope you can join us on Sunday in person at 8:00, 9:15 (Full KidCity) or 10:45 am, or watch the Livestream on YouTube (Like and Subscribe) or Facebook at 10:45 am.