For those of us living in the United States, today is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance of those who have died while in military service. We keep in our prayers and our memories those who have given their lives to keep our country safe.
It is equally important, however, that our prayers on this day be prayers for peace. Prayers that we can find some to resolve our conflicts that don’t require that someone’s husband or wife, brother or sister, father or mother, or son or daughter – whether American or of any other nationality – give their lives in armed conflict.
As we wave our flags at parades this morning, as we cheer at floats that go by with retired members of our armed forces, let us not forget that was is never something to glorify. It is always a tragedy. That takes nothing away from the sacrifice of our military personnel, but we cannot forget that our obligations to promote peace and an end to war and violence. Indeed, since those who died for our country believed they were doing so to promote peace and justice, their sacrifice was in vain if we do not take our obligation in this regard seriously.
And while we are praying this morning, let us also remember that it is not just American service men and women who have lost their lives protecting their countries. Let our prayers this day be for all of those affected by war – not only our soldiers but those who they fight against, and espeically for the civilians whose lives have been devastated by war.