Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Whatever your views are of military service please, please note that Jesus is not talking about a soldier being killed while serving with fellow soldiers trying to kill someone else. Jesus laid down His life by not resisting, not verbally and certainly not violently. He rebuked His disciples for trying to defend Him with the sword. He didn't jump on a grenade to save the apostles or carry Peter on His back off a battlefield. He walked unarmed into Jerusalem knowing His life would be taken and He did so to show the triumph of love. I am not seeking to disparage the service of those who died in American military service, in spite of my grave misgivings about warfare. I am simply asking that we not blur the distinction between the secular state of America and the Kingdom of God, between a man killed in combat and the Son of Man laying down His life in the exact opposite manner.
However you choose to commemorate Memorial Day, please leave the Lamb who was slain out of it.