November 10, 2019
All Saints Day and Veterans Day, days of remembrance
On Sunday November 3 we celebrated All Saints Day, a major feast day that refers especially to those Christians who have lived holy lives worth remembering and emulating. In the New Testament the word for saint is used to refer to all Christians. The practice in churches around the globe is to remember those who have done good things in Jesus' name in all times and places, and that we wish to be among those saints. We remembered them to honor them and to be inspired to be like them in love and service to God. And we remembered our baptism in the reciting of the Baptismal Covenant.
Tomorrow Americans will celebrate and remember those veterans who have served this country, putting themselves in harm's way to save others. In remembering them, we may be inspired to be courageous and selfless in the service of others.
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..." The name was later changed to Veterans Day. With the approval of legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
As a further way to remember veterans our service will close with a hymn packed full of history and often referred to as "the Naval Hymn." The tune we sing today, entitled "Melita," is a reference to the biblical nation of Malta, where the Apostle Paul arrived after his ship sank, according to Acts 28. May we always remember those who have served our country, "on land, in air and at sea."
PS Thank you for continuing to wear your nametags. If this is a new custom for you, I am particularly grateful to you for wearing these tags which will help me and Steve (and other newcomers) get to know one another even more quickly.