There are currently three holidays in the United States of America that honor military service.
Armed Forces Day is observed on the third Saturday of May, honoring all those who are CURRENTLY SERVING in any branch of the military, whether Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard.
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May and is specifically set aside as a day of remembrance FOR ALL WHO DIED while in service to our country.
Veterans’ Day is observed annually on November 11th and honors ALL LIVING SERVICE VETERANS. November 11th was chosen because it was originally known as Armistice Day, the day “The Great War” or World War I as we now know it, came to its conclusion on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at eleven a.m., 1918. In 1954, Congress designated Armistice Day as Veterans Day to include veterans of WW II as well.
It is good that we have set aside these days to honor our members of the military, past and present, as Jesus’ apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome:
“Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor”, 13:7
Jesus himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). In a sense, all members of the military have laid their lives on the line by committing to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Only Jesus Christ is able to stand as savior between us and eternal death.
In this world, however, Jesus has appointed governments to “bear the sword” to support what is good and punish evil (Romans 13:1-7). When our fellow citizens rise up and put their lives on the line in order that they might bear the sword for good, they are worthy of our honor as those who serve God in this very special way.