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Veterans Day Prayer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Chaplain, USN (Retired)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=34213 Veterans Day Prayer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Chaplain, USN (Retired) 2020-11-11 09:23:23 This Veterans Day Prayer was first published by Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Chaplain, USN (Retired), on his <a href="https://twitter.com/ArnoldResnicoff/status/1326512965135314944">twitter page</a>. He writes, "Because of COVID this is the first Veterans Day in a long time I am not part of a ceremony — and I know that’s the situation for many fellow vets. So I wrote it yesterday to share today as a virtual prayer for Veterans Day 2020." On 11 November 2022, Rabbi Resnicoff offered the expanded revision of this prayer as offered above at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Text the Open Siddur Project Arnold E. Resnicoff Arnold E. Resnicoff https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Arnold E. Resnicoff https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Veterans Day United States 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M. English vernacular prayer
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Almighty God,
We pray, reflect, meditate in different ways,
But today, together, honor our brave, our heroes,
The veterans of what must remain a grateful nation.

On this date, in 1918,
11th day, 11th month, 11th hour of the day,
We signed the Armistice to end the First World War
“The war to end all wars,”[1]  A term originating from a series of articles by H.G. Wells published in 1914, referring to what eventually came to be known as the First World War of 1914–1918. Find “The War to End War” (Wikipedia).  we prayed.

But other wars would follow, many more would serve,
So Armistice Day, renamed, reborn — now Veterans Day,[2]  Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 at the behest of a number of US Veterans organizations.  
Salutes all those who served, who answered duty’s call.

We pledged to honor those who honored us
Through sacrifice and service,
But too many times we failed,
Too many times we broke faith with those who served,
We broke faith with those who died.

40 years ago we built this wall
This wall of memory, this wall of healing,
To remember lives we lost in Vietnam,
But more than that:
To remember vows we made, and debts we owe
To all veterans, their families, to those who serve today.

We ask forgiveness from those we’ve failed in the past,
And renew our solemn vow to welcome home —
truly welcome home —
all those who served,
With grateful words and caring hearts,
And every action we can take, every dollar we can spend.
Knowing far too well our debts can never be repaid in full,
And some wounds of war will never truly heal.

May we remember, as has been said,
We’re the land of the free only so long as we are the home of the brave,
And we must forever thank the brave who keep us free.

Grant us faith to keep our dreams alive
That thanks to those we honor here today
At this wall of healing and of hope —
This safe space that became for us a sacred space —
One day we’ll beat our swords to ploughshares
And war will be no more.[3]  Cf. Isaiah 2:4.  
And let us say Amen.

This Veterans Day Prayer was first published by Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Chaplain, USN (Retired), on his twitter page. He writes, “Because of COVID this is the first Veterans Day in a long time I am not part of a ceremony — and I know that’s the situation for many fellow vets. So I wrote it yesterday to share today as a virtual prayer for Veterans Day 2020.” On 11 November 2022, Rabbi Resnicoff offered the expanded revision of this prayer as offered above at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.

Recordings

 

Source(s)

Veterans Day prayer (Arnold Resnicoff 2020)

Veterans Day prayer (Arnold Resnicoff 2022)

 

Notes

Notes
1 A term originating from a series of articles by H.G. Wells published in 1914, referring to what eventually came to be known as the First World War of 1914–1918. Find “The War to End War” (Wikipedia).
2 Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 at the behest of a number of US Veterans organizations.
3 Cf. Isaiah 2:4.
 

 

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