Maybe you don't agree with the policies or the decisions of our government or presidents. Maybe you've had enough of the war in Afghanistan or you think we are going about this all wrong.
But today put aside your opinions. Thank a vet, and say a prayer or two for the men and women who are serving across the seas and at home so that we might enjoy the liberties and freedom that we do.
Pray that they may return home safely to lead their lives as we would lead our own. And thank them for their sacrifice, for their willingness to put themselves in harm's way, their willingness to fight and die if they must, and for their families who wait. It is a very hard thing we ask of such people, especially the young.
Today I am especially remembering my dad, David Richardson. He was a young Navy ensign who served on small ships made of plywood in World War II. He fought his way through the South Pacific without a scratch, but he never forgot his shipmates who did not make it back. He saw he horrors of war; his patrol boat escorted Marines and Army soldiers under fire into the beaches in New Guinea and Philippines. Landing craft and the men in them were sunk before they made it to the beach. He endured boredom punctuated by air raids. The photo above was taken on an island where my dad's crew searched in vain for a downed American pilot.
My dad did not glorify war but he was willing to go, and he came home to lead a full life and to tell his story that others might not forget. Today we remember.
Thank a vet today and say a prayer. Here are two prayers from our Book of Common Prayer, and we will say them on Sunday:
Collects for Veterans Day (BCP pages 823, 839)
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be.
We remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom. All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.