by The Rev. Laura Adelia, Lt Col, USAF (Ret.), Military Missioner, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
It is difficult to write about Memorial Day when our country has suffered two mass shootings in the past couple of weeks. We are in shock, disbelief & saddened that once again, something like this has happened.
But as the families & friends mourn the losses of their loved ones from these tragic & terrible events, let us remember, that also the families & friends of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, also mourn.
For Gold Star families, Memorial Day is not just another holiday, or just the kick-off of summer, or gatherings & barbeques, & so forth.
Sadly, Memorial Day passes without mention in many churches. There is no liturgical observance of the day.
But Memorial Day is an opportunity for connecting, remembering, honoring & healing from the rawness & pain of loss. Especially for those families & friends of loved ones who gave all.
Let us pray…
“Spirit of Life, we enter into this season of Memorial Day surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses.
We pause to remember the women and men who are currently serving in the armed forces, and we pray for their safe return.
We remember & honor the service and the sacrifice of the women and men who did not, & will not return. We also pause this hour to give thanks to all the women and men who have served in the nation’s armed services.
Those who have not served cannot fully imagine the experience of war, but we do know war’s aftermath and the toll that it can take on the human heart.
This day remembers and acknowledges loss and so do we remember those whom we have loved and lost. We hold their names and their faces in our mind’s eye. We recall the gifts they gave to us through the strength of their being, the depth of their love, the courage of their dying, and the fullness of their living.
In the Holy Quiet of this hour, their names surround us and they live with us in blessed memory. May we remain together in silence, as a tribute to all that they have meant to us.
[prayer authored by Wayne Amason]
Rev. Laura Adelia served in the USAF & Reserves as a chaplain for 26+ years. She retired from the USAF in 2016, & currently serves as the Military Missioner (Veteran Ministries) for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.