At a time when the

At a time when the “separation of church and state” has challenged the rights of soldiers and military chaplains to openly share their faith, what will the new “rallying cry” of our nation be, once “God and Country” is removed from the national consciousness?

Is the United States that exists on the 2015 Memorial Day Holiday fundamentally different than the country that I, my parents and grandparents knew as young adults?

If we were tasked with communicating the meaning of this holiday and its significance to our culture and national well-being, would we craft radically different messages depending on our racial, religious, political and historical viewpoints?

What does “God and Country”–the rallying cry in past generations—mean today?

The Memorial Day Holiday began three years after the end of the Civil Way. It was called “Decoration Day,” and was an organized event to place flowers and small U.S. flags on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all U.S. wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday, and the congressional act placed the holiday on the last Monday in May.

Since then in my lifetime, we’ve had contentious wars that split the loyalties of Americans who either supported or opposed our involvement in military actions. Opinions remain divided over the necessity to have risked our military in Viet Nam, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan and other global hotspots.

That division has been exasperated by people who link U.S. military aggression to geopolitical manipulations based on, or directed at, religious groups. One example that I’ve seen expressed: “George W. Bush was a Christian president who led us into the Iraq War to subdue Muslims.” Is that true? More to my point, is that the entire story—even if that statement could be accurate?

The United States that was formed more than two centuries ago by a conglomeration of primarily Judeo-Christian leaders and fighting men has become home to a much different mix of citizens who represent a variety of racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds and belief systems.

A change of population naturally introduces ideas, beliefs and opinions that challenge the “status quo.” I consider that healthy, and I have always supported and appreciated our nation’s fierce defense of individual liberty, freedom of speech and the right to be represented, even when you are not the majority.

I’ve read that World War II was considered a “just war” that pitted God-respecting nations against regimes that considered their leaders to be “gods”—at least above the people who served them.

More recent wars have raised the question whether God has been used as a reason to wage war.

On this Memorial Day, consider what will happen when (and I mean “when,” not “if”) the United States is attacked by an aggressive force originating from outside of our borders. Are we U.S. citizens now too divided because of our differences to fight together?

Is “God and Country” now too contentious or outdated a rallying cry to be effective?

What should our national rallying cry be?