November 11

 Veterans Day

Reflection

This is a day for serious reflection and deep gratitude. We think of all those men and women who gave their lives in service of this country. We remember them with gratitude for their courage and strength, and we also remember those who mourn them.  There are many who have returned home with bodies and spirits scarred by war. We are grateful for their selfless service, we are saddened by their sufferings, and we take time to pray that the hearts of our leaders and of our enemies may be turned to the work of justice, the search for peace and the wisdom to solve differences without sacrificing young lives and thinking of war as the only alternative.

Prayer

Lead us, O God
From death to life
From falsehood to truth
From fear to trust
From hate to love
From war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts and our world.
From the Universal Peace Prayer

Action

Reflect on those who have died or been maimed over the centuries in wars, not only military personnel but also civilians.  How do you feel about this? When is it really justified? What can you/we do as a civilized people? How can we raise our children not to accept a culture of violence?

Suggested Reading

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

Prayer for Veterans Day

God of love,
Today, we are sorrowful before you.
Our hearts weep for the horror and destruction of war and the loss of life caused by it.
We ask your forgiveness for not maintaining the peaceful world you desire, and we pray for all the victims of war,
We pray for mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, and sons who mourn the death of a U.S. soldier they love.
We pray for our policymakers and leaders who hold the futures of hundreds of thousands of lives in their hands. Give them wisdom, integrity, and strength as they make important decisions.
Keep in our minds our sisters and brothers across the world, both soldiers and civilians. Help us to be committed to prayer, solidarity, and action to ensure that returning soldiers are well-cared for and to seek an effective end to the wars that bring destruction to so many lives.
Education for Justice

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy 

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?
Eve Merriam 

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
Maya Angelou 

No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.
Barack Obama 

Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him?
Blaise Pascal

 

 

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