Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans' Day - St. John's Teaching Note for November 10, 2013

 Begun as a holiday to commemorate the ceasing of combat in World War I on November 11, 1918, this day was originally know as Armistice Day.  It was a day when people stopped to remember those who gave their lives in that awful conflict.  Known also as Remembrance Day, after World War II it became known in the U. S. as Veterans’ Day to broaden the commemoration.
In the United States the Memorial Day holiday began as a commemoration of the Civil War dead and continues to be the primary celebration in this country.  Veterans’ Day seems to have morphed into a more general holiday to commemorate not only those who died in the service of our country, but also all those who served in the Armed Forces, our Veterans.
One particular poem, written in 1915 by Lt. Col. John McCrae after the battle of Ypres, summed up the sense of Remembrance, and poppies mentioned in the poem have become a symbol of this day.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
We give thanks to Almighty God for all those who served our country in the Armed Forces, and for those who gave their lives we pray,
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.