A year ago today, I was in Epworth, England. It was a Sunday, and we were gathered in the middle of Epworth for a Remembrance Day observation. In addition to those gathered, members of the British Armed services, veterans, and the Army Cadet Force were present. The colors were presented. Two minutes of silence, per British custom, were observed. A bugler then played.
The British do things very well.
After this, we marched to St. Andrew's Church for a United Remembrance Sunday Service. St. Andrew's was where John Wesley's father, Samuel, was rector. When John was banned from preaching in his home church, he stood on his father's grave next to the church and preached.
One of the things I realized that I was ignorant of was that in World War I, while Americans lost soldiers, many around the world lost soldiers, women, and children. As the worship service progressed, the minister (a British Methodist) noted that when we are in school, a roll is called for the register of attendance. However, on this day, as the roll is called, it was a register of absence: the names called represented costly sacrifice, earthly riches lost, and unrealized hopes.
Even though I was away from the land of my citizenship, the service brought tears to my eyes. I was standing next to my father, who served in the Korean War. His older brother, Howard, was missing in action in World War II, with no body to bury and no clue as to what happened in the last days of his life. I can only imagine how this day would be more difficult for those who have buried loved ones who were civilians in harm's way.
I hope for the day when we beat swords into plowshares and study war no more. Until that day, God bless those who serve in our military, God bless those who have served, and God bless all who have lost their lives in wartime. May they all have peace.