Thursday, November 11, 2010

Verteran's Day - 2010

I think of many things when November 11th rolls around each year. The first thought I think of is, my Grandfather... who was born on November 11th. He died when I was 6 and I have a few memories of him; all wonderful ones of course. The sad thing is, as I'm writing this, I'm trying to remember if he was a Veteran. I'm pretty sure he was... and this is something I'll have to find out!

The second thing I think of is my Father, who was a Veteran. He served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He enlisted with his first cousin and best friend on the heels of World War II, when patriotism was soaring. They both left college to serve, and both returned to college at the end of their 4 years. My Father never saw battle, but he was emphatically proud to be an American, and proud to have served his country.

The third thing I think of is my own childhood... growing up during the Viet Nam era... hearing whispers of my parents when a friends son had been killded or wounded in combat. I remember eagerly ordering my POW bracelet, and wearing it proudly. I wish I could remember the name of the soldier on that bracelet, or his fate. I remember when the war ended and feeling relieved. I was not aware, however, of the way the soldiers were treated upon coming home. It was a while until I realized that soldiers returning home from Viet Nam were not treated the same way as soldiers from previous battles.

I remember Desert Storm, and watching it every night on tv. I remember Arthur Kent aka "The Scud Stud", a correspondent for NBC who reported live every night.... and I thought was very cute. It was the worst kind of reality tv... a train wreck that you couldn't look away from... that I was compelled to watch every single night, terrified, yet dazzled at the same time. And of course, I remember our most recent and ongoing wars in Iraq and now Afghanistan. They are absolutely horrible, and I cringe when I watch the news and see young men and women shipping out.

These are terrifying times, and at times devastating to families all accross this nation. Movies and television often romanticize war... but there is nothing remotely romantic about war. War is a "necessary evil", and our soldiers are fighting to preserve our freedom, and the freedom of those around the world. Thank you to all the Men and Women who have served in the past, who are serving now and who will serve in the future. God Bless them all.

In closing, here is a prayer (from the New St. Joseph People’s Prayer Book ) for all who serve, past, present and future:

Prayer on Veterans Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ,

those whom we honor today are examples of your words:“Greater love than this no one has: that he lay down his life for his friends.” They gave up their lives in defense of freedom for their loved ones and their country.

Teach me to appreciate the virtue of patriotism -a true and Christian love of country. Let me love my country not to follow it blindly but to make it the land of goodness that it should be. Let my patriotism be such that it will not exclude the other nations of the world but include them in a powerful love of country that has room for all others too. Amen

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