…..from your Pastors’ Desk…
Veteran’s day is actually today, November 11th. The Holiday is celebrated this year on November 12th, since November 11th is a Sunday. But for continuity purposes, this writing says ‘Today’, the actual day.
Today is not Memorial day – Not a day to pray for those who died under arms. We should do that EVERY day. Nor is today a day when we specifically honor and pray for all those men and women serving on Active Duty – again, we should do that EVERY day.
Today is not Independence Day or Fourth of July or even Flag Day. Today is Veterans Day. Today we pray for the 21.8 million American Veterans still alive. And who are they?
2.5 mil served in Iraq and Afghanistan
7,391,000 served from 1964-1975 – Vietnam War Era
2.25 mil from Korean War 1950-1953
1.71 mil from WW2 1941-1945
No Vets alive from any previous wars as of Feb 28, 2011. Last one was Franck Buckles who died at 110 years old.
1.5 Million live below the poverty level
-Almost 39,971 are homeless on any given night…
California- BTW the highest percentage of Veterans – just over 2 Million.
So, then – How do we celebrate this day? How should we? Let’s take a quick look at how it started. 100 years ago in 1918, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” a cessation of hostilities was signed between the Allies of the Western front and Germany, thus ending World War One. The War at the time, was known as the “War to end All Wars” because it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history… it was so bad that the citizens of the world said at the time that war was such an atrocity that it could not ever be allowed to happen again. Well…
And after World War One ended, President Woodrow Wilson established November 11th as a national holiday in which a similar transition from condition of war to a condition of peace was made: Armistice Day.
That day in America would eventually become known, of course, as Veterans Day in order to honor and thank all of those who have served our country in the armed forces -in order to honor all of those who put themselves in harm’s way to preserve our safety and our freedom.
The freedom and the safety we have received from these men and women as well as their families, is a tremendous gift, so we gather here to commemorate and to celebrate those people who have sacrificed so much for us. But in doing so, we might want to ask God for guidance on what ways we can ourselves—both as individual people and as a collective nation—move from a condition of war and conflict into a condition of peace.
So. Happy Veteran’s Day. Thanks to all who faithfully served, especially the many woman and men from Holy Spirit. My prayer is that the day will come, although in the far distant future, when we will only celebrate Memorial Day – because….lasting peace brought an end to all war.
And our young men and women no longer had to bear arms.
And all Vets – myself included – will be but a memory.
Unrealistic? Yeah, maybe…but… Hope springs eternal.
Ask Jesus – the Prince of peace.
POW’s MIA’s – You are Not Forgotten.
Today is Veterans Day.
I am a Veteran.