Veterans’ Day: A Personal Tribute and a Prayer
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of the year 1918, an armistice was signed, ending the “war to end all wars.” November 11 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during the war in order to ensure a lasting peace. In 1938 Congress voted Armistice Day as a legal holiday, but World War II began the following year. Armistice Day was still observed after the end of the Second World War. In 1953 townspeople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans’ Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill renaming the national holiday to Veterans’ Day. Today, we remember those who have served for our country in the armed forces in our prayers. Thank you, veterans, for serving our country and protecting our freedoms!
I am especially thankful to those in my own family who have served in the Armed Forces — my dad, my brother, and my sister. My dad served in World War II. He and my mom married just prior to his being shipped overseas. My older sister was born while he was away. He returned from the war and met his daughter for the first time when she was eighteen months old.
My brother served in the Viet Nam War. My older sister was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston, where she served in the medical field.
A Prayer for Our Veterans
We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces. We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe. We pray especially for the young men and women, in the thousands, who are coming home from Iraq with injured bodies and traumatized spirits. Bring solace to them, O Lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray. We ask for, echoing John Paul II, an end to wars and the dawning of a new era of peace, As a way to honor all the veterans of past wars.
Have mercy on all our veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and the Middle East. Bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in. Bless all the soldiers who served in non-combative posts; May their calling to service continue in their lives in many positive ways.
Give us all the creative vision to see a world which, grown weary with fighting, Move us to affirming the life of every human being and so move us beyond war. Hear our prayer, O Prince of Peace, hear our prayer. Amen.