102 years ago today, on November 11, 1918, World War 1 ended with the signing of the Armistice. 101 years ago, ,in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson called for the nation to remember those who died in their country’s service and to make the day an opportunity for America to “show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day by an act of Congress in 1954.
President Eisenhower called on the nation to
- remember the sacrifices of those who fought in all our nation’s wars,
- celebrate the contributions of all veterans of military service, and
- rededicate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace.
We can do that today with this prayer:
On this day, we remember those who have served in our Armed Forces. Prince of Peace, even as we pray for an end to war, we give thanks for our soldiers’ courage, for their love of country, and for their work to bring peace to our world. Healer of All, bind up the wounds of all who have served. Show us how to comfort those who are hurting. Merciful God, all suffer the cost of war. We remember widows and widowers, orphans, and all those separated from those they love. we pray, Gracious God, that swords will be turned into plowshares and that peace will reign. We give thanks for all who have served. Shield from danger those who bravely protect us. With them, may we glory not in war, but in your love and righteousness. Strengthen us to be your peacemakers in the world. Amen.
~Bishop Sam Gray