Reflection on Veterans Day

November 11, 2022

Veteran’s Day is a special recognition day of gratitude and reflection. Like Memorial Day, it is a time to pay tribute to American servicemen and servicewomen, but it is not the same. Memorial Day was established to remember the fallen, those who have paid the ultimate price defending America. Veteran’s Day focuses on all who have served, not just the fallen. It is important to reflect on the experiences they have gone through and the contributions they have made, as well. There is no sense of pride or purpose quite like the pride or purpose of serving your country. Today we sense that the freedoms, we fought for may be at risk. There are some politicians who would like to see our country become a country run like a dictatorship. Many have given their lives and made sacrifices to keep this country a democracy where we all have opportunities not just those who are in favor. January 6 was a turning point in our democracy, where all the sacrifices made could have been for nothing.  The possibility of a lost democracy. Every Veteran’s Day take a few minutes and think of those who did not come home. Remember not just the fact of their sacrifice, but also the lives they lived, the families they loved, the jokes they told, their hopes for the future.  As we celebrate, contemplate, and grieve during this Veterans Day, let us recall the commitments and the sacrifices of our veterans, especially the fallen. Let us think about what we might do to build a future worthy of their sacrifice. And for all of our deployed service men and women, let us be part of the community of love and support that surrounds them on their return. They will need a circle wide enough to hold their stories and brave and gentle enough to walk with them through a difficult transition.  In my sadness, I remember, and in my sadness I will never forget. Let us remember those with the following prayer.

We pause today to thank you Lord for our ability to pray and worship you. We would not have this ability without the sacrifices made by those we honor today, the veterans who preserved our freedom, who have protected our freedom to worship you as our beliefs guide us. We ask your prayers for those present with us today. We especially ask that your presence be experienced by the veterans of tomorrow, those soldiers and sailors who are in harm’s way today.  Please, gracious God, guide them to safety, guide them to justice and righteousness in even the toughest of conditions. Bring them home to their families and loved ones. Comfort those families and loved ones and teach us how we might help them with their troubles and be your compassionate presence to them as they experience anxiousness, anguish and the loneliness and pain that comes with the knowns and unknowns of war. Finally, God, for veterans, for all who are in the service, for America, for the world, we pray for peace. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

So, this Veterans Day we say to our veterans, “Thank you for your service — and may the peace of God be with you.”

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