At St. Matthew’s, over the years, we have had a large number of veterans of WW2 and the Korean War — one veteran of Peacekeeping Operations, as well. For many years now we have honoured their service and that of their comrades on the Sunday before Nov. 11. We will be doing that again this year on this coming Sunday, Nov. 6. It is unfortunate that many of the very fine people who served have now died — we will note the passing of three who have died in the past year.
Our focus for this service, always, is on the hope and work of peace, and the necessity to defend human rights and freedoms for all people. We acknowledge the hope of Armistice, Nov. 11, 1918 — that WW1 would be “the war to end war”; that human beings would have learned from this “great” war that war does not solve our problems; that other means of conflict resolution are needed to preserve human life with respect and dignity and freedom for all. We acknowledge that we have largely failed to learn the “great” war’s lessons. It is our conviction, in Christian faith, that God wants us all, Christian and non-Christian, to learn these lessons. The non-violent respect and firmly-principled life that Jesus gives to all people mentors us. We make a statement with our lives by the way we live them, a statement for community, for freedom, for dignity, for peace, … for all.