When I talked to young men shortly before D-day during World War II, I observed that they were scared. None of them wanted to die. However, the vast majority expressed their conviction that the cause for which they were fighting was right and worthy of the risk.

Queen Esther had similar feelings. She didn’t want to die. She called for a 3-day fast to acknowledge her need for God’s special help. According to Persian custom, if she went uninvited to the king and he was displeased, he could order her execution even though she was his wife. Yet Esther loved her people enough to take that risk.

Today in the United States, we honor the men and women who died in the service of their country. Their sense of patriotism compelled them to put their lives on the line. Whether they had volunteered or had been drafted, they joined in the defense of their homeland. Sometimes they traveled to faraway places to support other countries in a fight for freedom. They risked their all and died.

Just as we are indebted to those who died to make freedom possible, so we ought to thank God for His Son who died to set us free from the bondage of sin. On this day we have much to be thankful for.