Veterans Day: Courage, Faith and Gratitude
Posted November 11, 2020
“It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the
benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America.” - Barack Obama
As I sit here watching the bronze leaves of the oak tree above us finally let go of their mooring and drift past the window, it reminds me of one fact. For those who have served this country, it isn’t so easy – or even possible – to let go of their experience of service.
When I say “service,” I include the families who have donated their loved one to protecting and defending the country.
When I say “service,” I don’t restrict it to active military duty alone. I expand it to everything that was also sacrificed, what was taken from them in their home life, and to the adaptations that they and their families had to make out of necessity.
Service to our country is service by the whole family.
Church Services on Sunday
In-Person Service begins at 10 a.m. Please observe these social distancing guidelines when you worship with us.
Hope and Courage
It’s perhaps most fitting that this Sunday we’ll explore the link between hope and courage, because these two things factor so deeply in the lives of veterans. We, in fact, have a duty and obligation to let those who have served know how deeply they are appreciated, as our act of spreading hope through recognition.
The “tree of service” for World War II veterans lies nearly bare, as so many of the Greatest Generation have let go and drifted from our sight. We salute those who remain.
For those whose service in Vietnam and return home was met with angry insults based on the politics of the time, we salute them, now that time has cleared our vision.
For all the men and women who have answered the call for every action from the Korea to the Persian Gulf, to Iraq and Afghanistan, we salute you.
While many veterans returned home intact physically and mentally, many, many did not. How does one watch one’s friend killed in action, when one survives? The blow to one’s spirit is as great a concussive assault as those who experience traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb, or who leave a limb on the battlefield. These are the hidden, ongoing sacrifices that our veterans and families make every day in their lives together.
Faith and Healing
Beginning in Matthew 8:5, we see the regard Jesus has for the centurion who believes in his healing power for someone in his charge, and recognizes that the faith of this soldier is based on serving those in his care. And perhaps that’s what we recognize most of all in our veterans: People who have sacrificed –- and continue to sacrifice –- for people they will never meet and who won’t get a chance to show their appreciation. For all of us who cannot say it in person to our vets, Thank You. - Pastor Pat Kriss