Friday, November 9, 2012

Pentecost 24b - conclusion

“Just one-half of one percent of Americans served in uniform at any given time during the past decade -- the longest period of sustained conflict in the country’s history” (American Forces Press Service Report) "Our work is appreciated, of that I am certain, but I fear (civilians) do not comprehend the full weight of the burden we carry or the price we pay when we return from battle.” (Retired Admiral Mike Mullen) Like the widow in the Gospel of Mark who gives everything she has in two copper coins those we will remember and thank in prayer or parade this Veteran’s Day gave all that they had. It’s been said by those who know more than I do that you might enlist to fight for your country but you die for your brother (or sister) who is fighting next to you. Those of us who have never sacrificed personal freedom to wear the uniform of freedom’s cause might do well to limit our wearing of flowing robes or sitting in first class seats in the marketplace when we talk about the “full weight” we do not comprehend, and before we go gung-ho into conflict we should ask the warrior class if they think it’s worth their life. It may be that the one-half of one percent see the world differently than the blissfully unaware ninety-nine and a half percent but it should be noted that the original Veteran’s Day was established not just to remember those who died in the First World War but more importantly to “show our sympathy with peace and justice” (Woodrow Wilson). Truth is no one wants peace more than the one who had to fight for it.

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