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Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day has a special place in my heart, and not because I ever served in the military (I did flirt with the idea of serving as a chaplain once or twice). So many men who have impacted my life served in the United States Navy: both grandfathers, my dad, and his brother, my Uncle Donald. I have two cousins currently serving (Army and Air Force). Very proud and thankful for all of them-- and everyone who has served.

My paternal grandfather, Frank Drenner I, WWII, USN. He was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked-- we was wounded and his ship was sunk. My boys ask if he survived; I tell them if he didn't none of us would exist!

My maternal grandfather, Don Guffey, WWII, USN. He enlisted the week after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Papaw was a signalman on huge convoys relaying supplies and transporting troops in the Pacific
Frank Drenner II, USN
Dad's Navy stories (shore leave, etc.) are legendary. He served on those patrol boats (PBR) checking the waterways in Vietnam-- like the one in Apocalypse Now. He also served on a guided missile frigate

Yesterday I did a little research into the observance:
  • Originally Armistice Day, first observed in 1919 to commemorate the end of WWI (November 11, 1918). My maternal great grandfather served in the cavalry in WWI Mema still has his saddle in her garage somewhere
  • Changed to Veteran's Day in 1954 with three emphases:
    • remember those who fought and died
    • to commemorate the service of veterans of all wars
    • promote an enduring peace

And then I found this litany online, which sums up well the three purposes of the day (Presbyterian Church, USA):
A Litany for Veterans 
The Rev. Tom Williams

Leader: We pause to remember those who go to war in our name.
Congregation: We give thanks for courage, for love of country, for those who work to bring peace to our world. 
Remind us, Oh God, that the goal of any war need be justice and peace.
On this day, we pause in worship to give thanks to God for veterans. 
And seek to bind up the wounds of those who served.
Enable us to know how to comfort, how to bind up their wounds. 
And remind us, Dear God, that the widow, the orphan, the widower, and the veteran – all know the cost of war.
Challenge us to love the warrior but hate the cost of war.
And we pray for a time when peace will reign and swords become plowshares once more, that war be known only in history books.
All: And we give thanks, Gracious God, that you remain with us as we celebrate the service of all who dared to go forth in our name. Remind us that such service is not a movie, an adventure, nor something to be glorified. Remind us that war is a failure by us to overcome hatred with love, injustice with righteousness, violence with peace. We give thanks for those who protect us from such failures. May we truly be Your people and be makers of peace. AMEN. 

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:
 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:1-16).

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