Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 10, 2016
Sad Prayers of Remembrance
The past two weeks have certainly been a roller-coaster of emotion. The Cubs. (Need I say any more, as a life-long Cubs fan?) The United States election. (Whatever your position, or your candidate, this long election cycle has been particularly nasty.) And now, November 11, Veterans Day, right after the anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9 and 10.
I don’t want to belittle either—or any of these feelings of sheer joy and excitement, or these raw, searing emotions of grief, bewilderment and stunned silence.
Remember. We remember.
However—just in case anyone is wondering why we observe Veterans Day on November 11, we need to go back to Armistice Day, the cessation of hostilities ending World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”
Called originally Armistice Day, it is also known as Remembrance Day, when those in the Commonwealth countries (formerly or still associated with Great Britain) remember those military personnel who died in the line of duty. And, just as here in the United States, red poppies are symbols of remembrance. (From Lt. Col.John McCrae’s poem “On Flanders Field.”)
We remember. Many remember or commemorate the horrific happenings of Kristallnacht, where there was such wanton violence against Jews throughout Germany and Austria. Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass” was when the isolated intimidation and persecution of Jews in the Nazi-occupied areas became pointed, systematic and crushing. A sea change moment.
Veteran’s Day here in the United States is a day to commemorate all veterans. We pray for all those who have died, in uniform. All over the world. They all had mothers. They all were babies, and young children, and had hopes and dreams and fears. No matter where they came from, or where these people served their military forces. God bless them all. God bless their memory. And, may God’s blessing and care rest on all those who remember, today, too.
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