Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
One hundred years ago today, World War I ended with the Armistice (literally, "stopping arms.") In 1938 it became a formal holiday and in 1954 President Eisenhower signed the bill to make it Veterans Day, a day to honor all who have served in the military. (Memorial Day honors those who died, and Armed Forces Day in May honors those currently serving.)

I spent (probably too much) time reading the history of not only the day but of the personalities and the accounts of so many of the battles and wars since 1918. Many of us have lived through so much of it all. I was born four months before Pearl Harbor and as I've told you before, one of my early memories is the uproar of Bayonne refinery sirens from New Jersey and boat horns from the Kill Van Kull and cars and trains rolling past me as I stood on my grandmother's front lawn watching it all. It was V-J day.

As I grew up, over the decades I slowly have come to realize how important it is to note the nobility in the lives of the many who served, particularly because so many experienced the horrors of war to defend what they thought was important.

I think about the values we say we always associated with their service. I grieve when I think about the possibility the struggles in today's discourse, or the lack thereof, will soil the fabric of the heritage of service given by those we remember today. Shall we still treasure those values and teach those who come after us to value them as well?

Every time I baptize a child I say to the parents, the godparents and the family who came to celebrate, that they are the environment of faith for their child. The only thing their child will know about God's love for them is seeing that love reflected in the lives of the people who surround them.

What shall our children learn from our society today? Will we teach them to love well or lie well? Will they love others because they have been loved well or will they simply master the art of grabbing whatever they can for themselves, because that's what they see?

No, our Veterans deserve a much better treatment at our hands and the hands of those who claim the mantle of leadership. Is that leadership one of loving service? Then our kids are blessed. If the leadership is self-serving, then the values which our armed forces defended are dishonored along with the memories of those servicepersons.

On this Veterans Day, we not only give thanks for those who served, but we commit ourselves to making sure that each of us strives to match their generosity by the way we live each day. You heard the stories of two remarkable women in today's scripture readings. They gave the very best from what seemed to be small and called generosity out of those they touched. We honor Veterans by treasuring the values for which we asked them to fight. May we never dishonor them by demeaning their service.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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