Wednesday, May 08, 2024

May Day, National Day of Prayer, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and VE Day (published 5-8-2024; article #471)


Today, on VE Day, the History Channel (A&E Television Networks, LLC) is scheduling multiple episodes of “Pawn Stars.” See today's schedule at On Holocaust Remembrance Day, their Monday schedule showed the same, usual dribble. Come on, History Channel! Show relevant programs, especially on profound days in history!

Welcome and greetings, dear reader. The purpose of this article (the 40th under the Freedom section and the 20th under the heading Worldviews in Conflict) is to summarize and comment on:

  • May Day (Wednesday, 5/1/2024),

  • National Day of Prayer (Thursday, 5/2/2024),

  • Holocaust Remembrance Day (Monday, 5/6/2024),

  • and VE Day (today, Wednesday, 5/8/2024).

Concluding thoughts focus on freedom and worldviews in conflict. I hope that you and I agree. We need to be on the right side of history. You are welcome to state your case and comment, to begin a civil discussion, if you disagree.

May Day

In ancient times, May Day (May 1st) was a Celtic celebration of spring. Similar May Day celebrations continue in the current era. For example, in grade school, we young'uns would sing, as we circled around the maypole, weaving colorful ribbons around it. Us boys would try to catch the eye of a cute girl!

Since May 1, 1886, May Day, or International Workers’ Day, has focused on labor rights and socialism. The May Day association with labor rights began in the United States and spread internationally. May Day is now an official holiday in 66 countries. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland moved the U.S. May Day celebration to the first Monday in September, Labor Day. The intention was to cut ties with International Workers' Day and its implicit support of communism and other radical causes.

Sources for this section include “May Day 2024: What Is May Day?” The Old Farmer’s Almanac, by Catherine Boeckmann, 5/1/2024; “May Day – May 1, 2024” on National Today; and “May Day,” on, by Editors, 5/1/2017, updated 5/1/2024.

This year, for the Fearghail household, May Day involved the “magical mystery starter.” That was the focus of the humorous article on 5/4/2024. Our car's starter is still working!

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer, on Thursday, May 2, 2024, followed May Day. The annual observance is on the first Thursday in May. The National Day of Prayer started, in 1952, with a joint resolution of the United States Congress and President Harry S. Truman's signature. Source: “National Day of Prayer – May 2, 2024” on National Today.

Ten short years later, as is commonly known, the 1962 Supreme Court decision prohibited school-mandated prayers in public schools. Conflicting worldviews continue to battle for and against the fundamental right to lead public prayers in government schools and in government school gatherings, such as sporting events.

After King Solomon had completed and consecrated the Jerusalem temple, the Lord came and spoke to him. The full context is in 2 Chronicles 7:11-22. Although the immediate application was to the Old Testament nation of Israel, the principles apply today. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) reads as follows:

. . . if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Contextually, the Lord's promise is conditioned by the people's faithfulness or by their humble repentance and return to Him. Obedience to God would bring national blessings to Israel. Rebellion against His will would lead to that nation's destruction.

Would to God that this once-great nation would humble itself, repent of its ungodliness, and seek His face! That is my daily prayer. What about you?

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The unprovoked and unspeakably cruel attack by Hamas on Israeli citizens, on 10/7/2023, and the subsequent and ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict set the tone for Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Monday, May 6th. Recent and ongoing antisemitic protests, across college campuses throughout the United States, focused special attention on the day. Thankfully, Israel's iron dome protected the nation against the Iranian air strikes on 4/13/2024. Israel retaliated on 4/19/2024.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is the 27th of Nisan (April/May) on the Hebrew calendar, unless the day is adjacent to the Sabbath, in which case the date shifts by one day. Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. The Holocaust (1933 - 1945) was the state-sponsored Nazi German persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews and five million others. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is one of several excellent sources.

Slightly larger than New Jersey, in the United States, Israel is about 290 miles (470 km.) long and about 85 miles (135 km.) wide at its widest point. HISTORY of Israel: Timeline on Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva chronicles Israel's history, from the biblical patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), to the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, and up to the year 2010.

From Jewish Virtual Library: a Project of American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), the following facts are known: As of January 1, 2024, the population of Israel was 9,842,000. The Jewish proportion of the population in Israel continues to decline. At the end of 2023, the total Jewish population was 7,208,000 (73.2%). The Arab population was 2,080,000 (21.1%). “Others” (i.e., non-Arab Christians, Baha’i, Samaritans, Karaite Jews, Seventh-day Adventists, Messianic Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and former Soviet Union immigrants) made up 5.7% of the population. Worldwide, the Jewish population is about 15.2 million. Of that total, 47% reside in Israel.

"Palestine" on Encyclopedia Britannica (last updated 5/8/2024) is an 80-page printed document that provides the complete history of the geographical region known as Palestine. Palestine is a geographical area (as Appalachia is). The term “Palestinians,” which are Jews, Arabs, and other ethnic groups, refers to the people who live in Palestine. There is no unique Palestinian race or ethnic group. Similarly, the term “Appalachians” refers to those who live in the geographic location of Appalachia. There is no unique Appalachian race or ethnic group. We Appalachians are a mixture of many races and ethnic groups.

Arabs and Jews have heritage and kinship in Noah and Abraham (Gen. 10:1-32; 11:10-32; 25:12-34). Ultimately, all humankind has kinship with Adam and Eve, the first humans (Gen. 1:27; 2:7,21-22; 3:20). In Athens, the apostle Paul's first century speech before the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers included, “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:26-27, NIV).

On October 7, 2023, who started the Israel-Hamas conflict? Who can end it? Israel would not need to defend itself, if every Palestinian (Arabs, Jews, and others) could live in peace, as close relatives.

VE Day

Today is the annual observance of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces. World War II in Europe was over. My desk calendar shows the annual observances that were mentioned previously. The calendar, however, does not show May 8th as VE Day. I had to write the observance on my calendar.

Two recent articles on this website mark the day. On VE Day, 5/8/2021, I published “5/1/2021, Saturday, May Day: Tribute to a Fine Officer.” I reflected on the May Day and Victory Day celebrations that my wife and I remember, when we were Christian missionaries in Russia. I honored the young officer, whom I met on May Day. On VE Day, 5/8/2022, I published “Mother's Day on VE Day.” The conclusion states, “My Mom was a peacemaker. I have tried to be as well. On this Mother's Day, on VE DAY, 2022, may peace on earth come, as millions of individuals, around the globe, get right with the Good Lord and change their ways!”

Perhaps one day, future desk calendars will show VE Day, on May 8th. Local and national media have given little, if any, attention to the day. I remember.


Concluding thoughts focus on freedom and worldviews in conflict. The saying “freedom is not free” is true. On this VE Day, thinking about the lives lost during the Holocaust and the entirety of World War II, not to mention more recent wars, overwhelms me. Thank you, veterans! Live in honor of veterans, who protected our freedom!

A Christian's freedom cost the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Live in honor of Jesus, who freed us from sin!

Only two people were indigenous, Adam and Eve. Since then, everyone else has been a colonizer. Adam and Eve's descendants migrated to and settled in new areas. Over the course of centuries, nations have taken and continue to take control of other groups and nations. At times, the cause is just, as in the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II. Often times, the cause is not just. Practically every race and nation have colonized less powerful races and nations. That has been the way of the world, since Adam and Eve's descendants began to settle new areas.

Conflicting worldviews often cause struggles that lead to war. A worldview that calls for the genocide of another race is nothing more than evil incarnate, and it should be stopped dead in its tracks before it escalates. World War II should have taught us that lesson. I hope that the world is not repeating German history from the 1930s.

The right side of history is the biblical worldview. What is the biblical worldview? It is abiding by the law of God, as stated and properly understood in the Bible. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus summarized, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 7:12, NIV).

May all the ethnic groups and nations of the world follow the Golden Rule. This is my prayer. The world will then have peace.

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