Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It is Veterans Day today and it brings to mind the years we spent living in Washington DC. Today, if we were still there, I'd stand with a group of coworkers, there would be a ceremony in which Veterans would march, carrying the flag. Men my grandfather's age, in their 80s, and 90s. I'd always think, what stories they must carry...There'd be a prayer recited, a speech given, and then the names of the people who have lost their life in the past year while working would be read. We'd have a moment of silence. There would be a bugleman who would play Taps.
This morning I think of all the Veterans, in this country and in other countries. The memories they carry, the thoughts they have on this day.....about war, about peace. I want to ask them, what remains in your heart? Place it in my hands, let me hold it for awhile, that I may learn...thank you for your courage, thank you for your sense of honor and duty, thank you for your sacrifice.
War is horrendous. I think no one would disagree.
"I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed.
I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of the line--the survivors of a regiment of a thousand that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
We, the human family, people of all ages and nationalities the world over, join hands and together we pray for Peace. Soldier, civilian, friend and foe. Not vague dreamy peace. Real. Peace. Within ourselves. In our relationships. In our families. In our communities. In our own nation. And between our nations. In honor of those who have seen war, have suffered its calamities, may Peace be what we strive for.
A great echoing resounds among the masses, young and old, familiar and foreign: Amen, amen.