Prayers for Veteran’s DayPosted on November 9th, 2011 3 comments
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
A student in an Orthodox school in Canada, I learned this poem by John McCrae off by heart in the third grade. This was my introduction to the concept of veteran’s and the need to honor the service they have given. As we mark veteran’s day this week my thoughts are with the many women and men who serve and have served the countries in which we live. This World War One poem still resonates but there is also room for the new. Once again, I asked Alden Solovy, member Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue in Evanston IL, Solovy who composes meditations and prayer with contemporary themes and traditional resonances on his blog To Bend Light to address the ongoing need to pray for and with our servicemen and women. May peace be soon upon us all.
Veterans Day Prayer
G-d of compassion,
G-d of dignity and strength,
Watch over the veterans of the United States
In recognition of their loyal service to our nation.
Bless them with wholeness and love.
Heal their wounds,
Comfort their hearts.
Grant them peace.
G-d of justice and truth,
Rock of our lives,
Bless our veterans,
These men and women of courage and valor,
With a deep and abiding understanding
Of our profound gratitude.
Protect them and their families from loneliness and want.
Grant them lives of joy and bounty.
May their dedication and honor
Be remembered as a blessing
From generation to generation.
Blessed are You,
Protector and Redeemer,
Our Shield and our Stronghold.
To the Soldier, To the Veteran
These things I do not know:
The sound of a bullet.
The power of a blast.
The blood of a comrade.
The depth of your wound.
The terror at midnight.
The dread at dawn.
Your fear or your pain.
These things I know:
The sound of your honor.
The power of your courage.
The blood of your wound.
The depth of your strength.
The terror that binds you.
The dread that remains.
Your dignity and your valor.
For these things we pray:
The sound of your laughter.
The power of your voice.
The blood of your yearning.
The depth of your healing.
The joy that frees you.
The hope that remains.
Your wholeness and your love.
The Last Soldier
When the last soldier passes on,
When armies are disbanded and militias discharged,
When weapons are abandoned and armor discarded,
Your mission will, at last, be over.
For you know the soldier’s secret.
Yours was not a mission of war
Nor a mission of ruin.
Yours was not a mission of destruction
Nor a mission of death.
Your mission was safety, security, protection.
Your mission was honor, loyalty, service.
Your mission was to end violence, tyranny, despair.
When the last soldier passes on,
When the uniforms are retired and the final grave filled,
We will remember all who served and sacrificed for our nation.
Until then G-d of Old,
Watch over our soldiers and our veterans.
Renew their courage.
Rebuild their strength.
Heal their wounds.
Bind their hearts with Your steadfast love.
And give them peace.
© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
3 responses to “Prayers for Veteran’s Day”
[...] honors the soldier’s journey. I haven’t yet recorded audio for them, which I’ll post later. Click here to read them on Tzeh U’limad. The photo is my grandfather, David Solovy z”l. He [...]
[...] found these poems online and find them to be an appropriate marker of Veteran’s [...]
[...] Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D., editor of Tzeh U’limad, for her suggestions and encouragement. Click here to read these prayers on Tzeh U’limad or here to read them at The Mankind Project Journal. [...]
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