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arlington_national_cemeteryI receieved a frantic phone call on Friday:  “The pastor who was suppose to pray on Monday had surgery for throat cancer.  Do you know anyone who could come?”  “Would they mind a woman?”, was my response, trying to be sensitive to expectations (and maybe hoping Jeff would go instead!). 

I am glad I went.  I’m not a fan of war (who is, really?) but it was moving to see these men gather to honor those who had died.  It didn’t take much of an imagination to wonder what they had seen during their lives.  One gentleman was on the front lines of four significant battles (Iwo Jima being one of them).  Another gentleman carried the wreath as he gripped his crutches with his armpits.  One of the other soldiers offered help but no doing.  It was the least he could do, I suppose, for those who had made the “ultimate sacrifice.” 

I wondered if some of my colleagues thought I was giving in too easily by agreeing to pray at such an occasion.  Was I somehow giving creedance to violence and war?  I don’t think so.  It was an honor to give thanks for the lives of so many and I can’t imagine anyone was upset that I prayed for peace. 

May it be so.

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