Sunday, November 9, 2014

Reflection on Remembering (& Thanksgiving)

(1) Veterans Day is this Tuesday. In the news:

· This past Thursday, 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing was awarded the Medal of Honor, 151 years after his death next to the artillery guns he refused to leave in the Battle of Gettysburg during the CW.

· The 2nd Battle of Fallujah, the deadliest battle of the War in Iraq began 10 years ago Friday.

· This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, World War I. (1914)

· This next year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of our ground war in Vietnam. (1965)

We need to remember and mark Veterans Day for all those who served during war time and for those who served during peace time. But it goes beyond just remembering, just saying a few thank you’s to those whose served.

Bishop Jay Magness, who is Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries of The Episcopal Church, who is responsible for the pastoral care and oversight for our armed forces chaplains, military personnel and families (as well as oversight of federal hospitals, prisons, and correctional facilities chaplains), put it this way a few days ago:
“While remembrance is important, the act of remembering is insufficient. We have among us a significant number of combat veterans, many of whom have invisible though enduring wounds, which must be recognized and healed. It is not enough to thank a veteran for her or his service as though we were wishing them a 'good day.' It is incumbent upon each of us to engage in ongoing care for veterans and to ensure that we provide meaningful assistance in rebuilding their lives and their futures. Providing shelter for the homeless, medical care for the ailing, spiritual care for those who have lost hope, and jobs for those who are unemployed are the responsibilities of a grateful nation to those who have stood the lonely watches, born the heavy burdens and carry the wounds of war for each of us.” (
So let us pray and remember the prayer calls us to act too:
O gracious God, we pray for those who have served our nation, who laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for all those who have fought & for those who suffered, our wounded warriors, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war and whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day. We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm's way: shield them from danger and bring them home, soon. Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace. May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains us, the peace that saves us. O Lord Jesus, hear our prayer for our Veterans & their families, for those who heard the call in yesteryear and for those who serve today, that we may reach forth our hands in love and gratefully serve their needs even as we pray for a lasting peace throughout the world. Amen. (adapted from the Concord Pastor)

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