Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Five: Remembrance

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Sophia, formerly known as Mother Laura, posts:
Earlier this week the U.S. celebrated Veterans' Day, known in many other countries as Remembrance Day. At this time last year I was commuting to a postdoc in Canada, and I was moved by the many red poppies that showed up there on people's lapels in honor of the observance. Unlike a flag lapel pin, which to me has political connotations and implies approval of our current war, the poppies simply honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have followed their consciences by serving--sometimes dying--in the military.

This week's Friday Five invites reflection on the theme of remembrance, which is also present in the feasts of All Saints, celebrated in many liturgical churches on November 1, and All Souls--known in Latin@ cultures as the Day of the Dead--celebrated in some the following day. 

1. Did your church have any special celebrations for All Saints/All Soul's Day?
Yes. The names of the members who died in the past year were read, a candle was lighted and a bell rung. Also, the music related to All Saints, especially a beautiful choir piece called Lux Aeterna by Morton Lauridsen.

2. How about Veterans' Day?
Nothing last week that I recall. It could be we'll mark it this Sunday -- last Sunday was busy about stewardship. Last year, veterans were asked to stand and be thanked, so I and Onkel Hankie Pants did, among many others.

3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break?
I don't have a job, and Onkel Hankie Pants went to his seasonal work at Iconic Maine Business that night as usual. 

4. Is there a veteran in your life, living or dead, whose dedication you remember and celebrate? Or perhaps a loved one presently serving in the armed forces?
My father was a career soldier and served in WWII and Korea. He didn't have any sense of it as a high calling, in fact he would sometimes say "I'm just a hired gun." He almost never told war stories. In recent years, I've heard some reminiscences from some of OHP's relatives who were in WWII -- at Anzio, and other scary places. I've also read quite a few, most recently the late Tony Hillerman's autobiography where he tells about his experiences during the last years of the war in Europe as an infantryman. Pretty much everything I've read and heard leads me to believe that in most cases, a soldier/sailor/airman/marine fights primarily, not for some high ideal of country or cause, but for the comrades in his/her platoon, ship, or whatever. And I don't see anything wrong with that, in fact it is probably a healthier way to be.

5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on?
I wouldn't call it ritual. But whenever I think of them, or something reminds me, or I talk about them with others, the connection is there. Sometimes it's as simple as a recipe -- when a friend of my mother's was here the other day she mentioned making Wacky Cake (the chocolate cake with no eggs), a recipe she got from my mother. We remembered her that day.

Note: The photo is from Flickr, by someone who goes by the name Tall Guy. It made me think of the poem "In Flanders Fields" by Col. John McCrae.


Sally said...

I love the process of remembering through the stuff of life like smells or recipes etc, great play

Jan said...

I remember that wacky cake!

It's interesting to see how many bloggers have parents who were long-time in the military. Me, too.

Sophia said...

Thanks for sharing--and for your service. Bet you have some stories to tell.

DogBlogger said...

Great play. And thanks for stopping by my blog, too.

Purple said...

I really like Lauridsen's music. Enjoyed reading your play.