Home Forums Noticings… 201111 – Remembrance

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    November 11, 2020

    (This reflection and prayer is from our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott.)

    When I was growing up, one of the phrases that I remember connected to Remembrance Day was “Never again.”
    Armed conflict comes all too often, and yet I still hold hope that we can work for a world where governments only reason to deploy our Armed Forces is to help one another, rather than fight one another. Perhaps that is naive, but it is what Remembrance Day challenges in me, each time I stand at a cenotaph and hear spoken the words, “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.”

    God of all times,
    God of all places,
    God of the war-torn,
    God of the great peace…

    on the eleventh hour,
    of the eleventh day,
    of the eleventh month,
    time stops,
    for a minute,
    or even two,
    with the weight
    of Remembrance.

    That minute,
    or even two,
    when we stop,
    when the silence
    that fills my ears
    (and my heart)
    is the quiet of the grave.

    The silence of lives lost,
    and the lives changed –
    in service,
    in wartime and peace time,
    by the people of the Canadian Armed Forces,
    and others, the world around –
    shouts loudly
    in those minutes…

    and I remember place names,
    like Ypres and Dieppe,
    and Kapyong,
    and Kandahar…

    and I remember people’s names
    like Choi and Casey,
    Miron-Morin, and
    Smith and Templeton,
    and on and on…
    fallen in service,
    remembered and loved.

    I remember.

    In the weight of this silence,
    I remember, too,
    the innocents –
    the civilians caught
    in the lands of death –
    that war claims as its own.

    And, as I remember,
    I reach out my hands
    to grab the torch tossed
    from the fields of Flanders –
    and commit myself, again,
    to be someone who do all that I am able
    (and more)
    to work for a world of justice and hope,
    a world where war is not,
    where everyone can sit ‘neath
    their vine and fig tree,
    at peace,
    and unafraid.

    In that two minutes,
    (and in the days that follow,)
    I remember –
    and remembering,
    I grieve their deaths,
    I give thanks for their lives,
    and I commit myself, anew.

    God of all times,
    God of all places,
    God of the war-torn,
    God of the great peace,
    hold me to my commitment,
    and hear my prayer.


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