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11 November 2011
  Veterans Day
Eleven, Eleven, Eleven

11 November AD 1918

DoughboyIn parts of the world, including these United States, 11 November is a day of remembrance growing out of the end of the First World War. It comes from the armistice ending western European hostilities in that conflict.

This post's subtitle gives nod to the implementation of the armistice at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month — that is, at 1100 GMT on 11 November 1918. Note that the time stamp of this post, 0500 Central Standard Time, equates to 1100 UTC.

This day of remembering was first called Armistice Day (and some still use the term). Gradually, the United States expanded the emphasis from gratitude for the end of the "War to End All Wars" to remembering and thanking all of our honorably discharged military personnel. The US holiday was officially established as Veterans Day in 1954.

Spiritually, the "Great War" of the early 1900s ended much positive thinking about the upward climb of mankind and helped usher in the era of Modernism. The harshness of the "peace" which followed led to renewed hatred and hostilities in Europe. Coupled with the Great Depression, this helped to begin events leading to the Second World War.

The false hope held by much of the world, including many Christians, for a Utopian earth with no more armed conflict perished on the battlefields of these two world conflicts along with thousands upon thousands of armed combatants and millions of civilians. Wars and rumors of wars continue to testify against this fallen Creation and point to the final end of conflict, when our Savior returns in judgment (see Matthew 24:6).

We will still remember those who served honorably to defend the ideals upon which our Republic was founded. We will also continue to pray that America would return to much she has forgotten about both individual freedom and the interdependence of all citizens in a free society.

Collect for Peace

Almighty God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts my be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, my live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for the Military and Our Veterans

Almighty God, who ordains government to bear the sword on Your behalf, we commend into your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad and we thank you for the veterans of our military and the services they rendered our nation. May the examples of their their sacrifice and their valor encourage us to serve our neighbor selflessly; through Your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect adapted from a petition for Remembrance Day, courtesy of Lutheran Church — Canada.)

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