"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever" (Exodus 12:14).
The above command was given to the children of Israel by God through Moses, as He was preparing to lead them away from slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land to establish their own free nation. On that day, an angel of death would slay every first-born son in Egypt, except that he would "pass over" the homes of the Israelites because of the blood of a slain lamb sprinkled on the lintels and door posts of their houses. That particular date would thereafter be made an annual "memorial day," called Passover, throughout future generations.
Our forefathers, who established our own U.S.A. nation, often felt that there was a kind of spiritual analogy between the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and our deliverance from a despotic king in England via our War of Independence. Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) was established about the time of the Civil War as a special holiday honoring those who had died in a war fighting to establish or preserve our freedoms.
Just as Israel often forgot to observe their Passover memorial day in later generations, however, so the purpose of our own Memorial Day often is forgotten, with the day being used by most as just another holiday for travel and recreation.
This should indeed be a day to remember and honor all those who have fought and died to maintain our land of the free. If we forget them, we may also soon forget their God and our God, who is the ultimate giver of freedom. We must never forget the sober and fearful warning of Psalm 9:17: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." HMM