Veteran’s Day

During the years we lived in England,  we celebrated Remembrance Day. On the Sunday nearest to November 11 (Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I) we pinned red paper poppies on our coats and went to the village war memorial for a solemn ceremony of remembrance with prayers, hymns, and wreath laying. There was a shocking number of names on the war memorial for a community the size of Anacortes; and there is a similar memorial in every town and village in England.

This year I joined a Remembrance Day service online, remembering those who have died in wars, conflicts and terrorism, and the over 7000 medical professionals who have died fighting COVID 19 this year.

It was a sobering service for me. It reminded me of the violence, hatred and evil that is in the world and in us, and that costs so much in human suffering and loss. It reminded me of how wars can begin: I thought of the Balkans, where we had many friends and co-workers when the Balkan War began in 1992.  Terry travelled monthly to Yugoslavia in those days to visit our campus missionaries, and I remember his concern about the ethnic and religious hatred being stirred up - hatred and mistrust that ultimately resulted in war and genocide.  Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croatians, Muslim and Jewish Bosnians had lived together, married each other and were friends and neighbors. No one imagined that there could be war between them - until there was angry rhetoric, one shooting, then another, and violence began to escalate.

A German soldier said of killing a French soldier in 1914: “How can we have this veneer of civilization yet so quickly become so cold to other human beings? How quickly we can depersonalize them.”

So on this Veteran’s Day, I am praying. Praying for peace, for understanding and forgiveness and for the coming of the Kingdom.

Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things in Your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to His just and gentle rule;
who is alive and reigns with You,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

- Carolyn Culbertson

1 Comment

Susan Van Deusen - November 15th, 2020 at 10:58am

Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you. Amen to your prayer at the end.