Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans' Day (and the dream of Armistice Day)

November 11th was at first a commemoration of the end of WWI, called "Armistice Day." When hopes that it was "The war to end all wars" were dashed, the day was dedicated to all veterans of military service.

Here's an old pic of the front gate of the base where I served in (then West) Germany during the "Cold War." I am happy to say it is long gone, turned to civilian sport and commercial use as part of the "peace dividend" when the NATO - Warsaw Pact standoff ended.

My service was not dramatic - it was, after all, a "cold" war. My dad was in the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII, and never took a life but was decorated for saving the crew of a plane when it went down at sea.

When we give thanks for veterans, we give thanks for all kinds of service, a larger formation than the elite ranks we remember on Memorial Day, who gave "the last full measure of devotion."

But we also pray that all service and sacrifice will bring rewards of freedom and peace, and we pray for a day when "armistice" will stand and we won't need to produce new commemorations of conflict.

Thanksgiving For Heroic Service (Book of Common Prayer 1979, p. 839)

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful
hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of
decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant
that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the
benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This
we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Critical Thinker said...

I'm glad I came across your blog. I don't know anyone personally who is a Veteran but I wanted to thank YOU for your service. It is greatly and humbly appreciated.

TLF+ said...

Thank you, Critical Thinker.
God bless you!