Rev. Dr. Anna Verlee Copeland's Blog

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November 11 Blog Post

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“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it.” -- Proverbs 3:27

I grew up in the shadow of SAC Airforce Base in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of a Civil Engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, who was also a Veteran of World War II. Almost everyone I knew had a family member who had served in the military, from World War II to Vietnam, and now onward to Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond. So when I had the chance to attend the Veteran’s Day Service at Memorial Park this morning, I went there.

More than ever, it seems important today to thank those women and men who served our country, are serving our country, and those who lost their lives. We remember with gratitude the Blue Star families, the Gold Star families, and those who kept the home fires burning while their loved ones left home for long stretches of time.

I thought about the price paid for our freedoms at every level, as we placed hands over our hearts to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem in gratitude for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It turned out to be a deeply emotional experience in light of all that is happening in our country. Looking around the gathered crowd, I overheard families, friends and neighbors quietly talking about their loved ones and telling the stories of their service back then or now. No one talked partisan politics, not a word was breathed about our differences. For one moment in time, it was ok to sit socially distanced or stand throughout the Memorial Park as Americans, uninterested in what divides us. We affirmed our desire to love our homeland without embarrassment or apology, rancor or blame.

As we walked silently home or back to our cars, deep in private thoughts, I prayed in gratitude for those who served on our behalf on foreign soil. And I prayed in hope that we would honor their sacrifices by doing absolutely everything we can to initiate peace here at home. This will be difficult. Yet if they could do what they did then, can we not through faith do what needs to be done now?

Prayer: Holy One, let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,
Dr Anna V. Copeland