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Being of Service? What More Profound Way than Service to Country.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Flanders Field poppies

Being of Service? What More Profound Way than Service to Country.

Today is Veterans Day. I have heard about, read about the many sacrifices veterans have made, over the years. But I am also thinking of how this commemoration started. Armistice Day was what it was called. The ending of World War I, the cessation of all fighting. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month, at the eleventh hour. That horrific, bloody, awful war. Ending, ninety-six years ago today.

I think, too, of that eloquent poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae, so vividly portraying the poppies on the field of battle. Written almost one hundred years ago, this word picture from the point of view of the dead remains one of the most memorable snapshots in words of that terrible conflict.

War is never pretty. Sometimes for reasons of great societal conflict. Occasionally for moral reasons of profound purpose and rectitude. Again—war is never comfortable and pleasant.

I pray for all those who have served their country, or presently are serving. I pray for all of these military personnel, whichever country they are fighting for. Even if these countries are at odds with mine, currently, that still doesn’t make their soldiers and sailors and airmen any the less people. Human beings. Each one of them still has a mother, and other family members and friends. I recognize the humanity and the personhood in all of them.

Yes, in Flanders field and far beyond, we do commemorate these military personnel. My father was a veteran of World War II, and so were his three brothers. My grandfather served in the U.S. Army in World War I, in France. I honor these brave soldiers. And so many, many more. I honored them on Sunday, in the morning church service, and the whole congregation prayed for veterans and those currently in service, with a precious prayer.

I remember them today. On Remembrance Day. Veteran’s Day. We remember. God bless all those who are currently serving, and especially those who have served. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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