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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Remembering with Hope

Remembering with Hope    
         
                On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh
hour silence reigns across the country near memorials and cenotaphs as those gathered remember, honour and pay tribute to those men and women who fought and died for the sake of peace in the world. As we put on a poppy this year and hear the trumpeter play the “Last Post” what are you going to remember? There are many people, ideas and images to consider on Remembrance Day. White crosses, poppies blooming bright red in open fields, guns at rest, the flag waving in the wind, and a child asking, what does this mean?
                What does Remembrance Day mean? It is a day to respect the soldiers who fought in battles away from home so many years ago and that they returned home safely. It is a day to honour those men and women who raised up guns or were on battleships, or who flew over enemy lines so that we would not know anyone as enemies. It is a time to remember the willingness and self sacrifice that many soldiers had when war broke out only to return forever changed. And it is a time to say, never again.
                But this is difficult to understand because there has always been war, conflict, death and destruction due to power struggles over land, food and the economy. So what can we do? Pray for peace. Give thanks to those who served years ago and who continue to serve today. Wear a poppy with pride and support the Royal Canadian Legion whose primary purpose is to ensure veterans are cared for and that their needs are met.  And give thanks for those who gave of themselves in war so that we would not know what war is.
                Let us remember this and consider these words by an anonymous poet.
It is the Veteran, not the preacher who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Veteran, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Veteran, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer who has given us freedom to assemble
It is the Veteran not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran not the politician who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Veteran who salutes the flag. It is the Veteran who serves under the flag.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Lest we forget. Lest we forget.
                 
PRAYER

Keep veterans in our memory, in honour and respect O God. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me! We ask this in the name of the Prince of Peace, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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