Home > Uncategorized > “On behalf of a grateful nation”…he said…Veteran’s Day 11 November 2011

“On behalf of a grateful nation”…he said…Veteran’s Day 11 November 2011

            As we neared the gravesite, I was amazed to see four uniformed personnel representing various branches of the military standing at attention.  In addition to these individuals, there was a detail of veterans…all men…standing near a distant tree, three had rifles and one had a bugle and the other seemed to be in charge.  I was asked by my family to officiate at the graveside service for my mom.  Her coffin had been draped with an American Flag once we left the church and began our drive to the cemetery.

            Her grandchildren were the Pall Bearers.  We processed to the gravesite and the Uniformed Personnel saluted as we made our way.  They stood at attention throughout the burial service.  Once it concluded, the Officer in charge stepped forward and began the Military Service afforded every veteran.  My mom was in the Navy during World War II and served as a Bookkeeper at a Military Facility in Cleveland, Ohio.  Her first husband, Edmund Coto, was in the Army and was killed in December, 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge.  She lived with this loss the rest of her life.  Every Memorial Day, every Veterans Day, my mom would remind us of the gallant sacrifice made by those who served.  My mom was proud to have served in the Navy especially at a time of great peril in our nation’s history.

            During the Military Service, I watched and listened.  Of the four personnel, two were women.  They folded the flag and handed it to the Officer who presented it to our family.  “On behalf of a grateful nation”…he said.

            Tomorrow, 11 November 2011, is Veterans Day.  In truth, as Christians, we must continue to work for a world where there is no longer violence and aggression but peace…made possible in working for justice WHILE we live in the face of continuing aggression and violence.  This is a tension we must embrace and acknowledge.  But, we are also called as citizens to honor and be grateful for the sacrifice of those who offered themselves in Military Service.  I am going to remember my mom and her first husband Ed…and all veterans who have died with this prayer at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Have mercy, Lord, have mercy, on our honored dead whom we remember this day.  We praise you for their lives, for the gift of their courage and service, for their companionship in the company of other Military Personnel, and for their unique presence in the world.  We mourn their passing.  We salute their sacrifice.  We pray for those who grieve for them.  Strong Savior, raise them up in strength, in wholeness and beauty, to share with you the eternal life that you have promised to all who put their trust in you.  In your holy Name we pray. Amen.

                                        From Enriching Our Worship 3, page 75 amended.

Will you join me in this prayer at 11 a.m. CST on Friday?

Every blessing,

Douglas

Serving as Rector / Pastor

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Chuck
    November 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I know we all have a Veteran in each of our family histories who served in the armed forces somewhere, sometime, past or present. Please say a prayer for them as they have kept and are keeping this great nation safe and free so that each of us can pursue whatever it is that we want.

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