Today is Veterans Day. During our Wesley Park Wednesday Check Ins on Zoom we talk about whatever comes up. Often, the conversation includes experiences during military service. Today, we remember those persons who have served and came home to tell their story. This might be a good time to ask someone of their experience serving their country. You can find my Dad's story here, along with thousands of others, at the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.
And, we remember those who died in service. Included in this message is the song, "Remembrance" from The United Methodist Discipleship Ministry site. Here is the background.
British Methodist pastor and hymn writer Andrew Pratt has composed this remarkable text for Veterans Day (USA) and Remembrance Day (British Commonwealth nations). Veterans/Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day, is observed each year on November 11 to commemorate the end of World War I on that date in 1918 and to remember the members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty.
The "crimson poppies" in the opening line recall the red poppies that bloomed all across the worst World War I battlefields in Flanders and that grew in abundance over the graves of fallen soldiers, made so famous in the 1915 poem "In Flanders Field" by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.
The Rev. Pratt chose the title "Remembrance" over the customary opening line of text as title. The poignant and provocative text recalls the death that is at the heart of war, our human longing for peace even as we wage war, and ponders the causes of war: greed, race, pride, wealth, nationhood and creed. The final stanza concludes in a profound and exquisite act of remembrance of those who died in their service, whom even heaven remembers with "a loud amen."
Let us pray and work for peace, and an end to war everywhere. And, with hearts filled with love, let us honor all Veterans on this day.