Saturday, May 23, 2009

"The Saddest Acre in America"

Section 60, Arlington National Cemetery, where our troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq are being laid to rest. Pause and give thanks for those who have sacrificed and, of your charity, offer prayer for their loved ones.


Castanea_d said...

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give thee thanks for all thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence; and give us such a lively sense of thy righteous will, that the work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP p,. 488)

TLF+ said...

Castanea_d, thank you. I thought this prayer was available but kept digging around in the Collects and Prayers... it is actually in the optional prayers that are appended to the end of the Burial service. Thanks for being on the ball and getting it posted here. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

It is appalling to say Arlington is the saddest acre in America. It's as if those soldiers and heros fought for naught. I think of it as the Proudest Acre in America.

TLF+ said...

Anonymous - I had a similar thought but I decided to just stick with the CNN title. I don't think it disparages the sacrifice to acknowledge the fresh sadness of the families that have suffered loss.

Last night, public TV had a beautiful feature on the US Military cemeteries around the world. They gave the heroic stories behind a number of the names on the Crosses and Stars of David, and interviewed the locals of different countries who talked about their undying gratitude for the sacrifice of young American lives to secure their freedom.

They also showed families of the dead visiting the sites. The pain of untimley loss and separation was still palpable over the decades.

I guess I would say it's a "both/and" - there is honor and glory in sacrifice, but also great sorrow. The way of the cross, Christians would say, is a way of triumph and glory, but also a "via dolorosa."