As many of us enjoy an extended holiday weekend and approach Memorial Day, the word sacrifice is a crucial part of why this weekend, this holiday, this day of remembrance is so important.  I think of many people I’ve never known and will never meet fighting wars overseas, fighting for what they believe in and for the ideals upon which this country was founded.  Though many do not agree with our administration’s and past administrations’ choices, one thing most people seem to agree on is the importance of showing our support to those who do battle—literally—in the name of our shared freedom and the countless ideals and privileges we sometimes take for granted while going about our busy days.

I especially think of my grandfather who was a waist gunner in World War II—a generation whose very existence called for the selflessness of sacrifice and service to the neighbor.  Though we are generations removed from that period of our history, many veterans from that and wars since walk among us.

We honor all our veterans and current enlisted servicemen and servicewomen with our own sacrifice.  That which we choose to do without or give to others so that a different group of people whom we may never meet can have something to eat.  We give of ourselves, our worldly possessions, and whatever means we have to boldly denounce the pervasive and destructive reality of hunger and poverty affecting a billion people in God’s world.

Let us further honor those who sacrifice themselves for others and for what they believe in by sacrificing something of our own so that people with little to eat might have a chance for a better life.

–Aaron Cooper is writer-editor for ELCA World Hunger