Yesterday we prayed, at our morning services: "On this Veterans Day, bless all those men and women who, for devotion to their country and to the common good have offered themselves in service to our nation."
And last night we heard, at Evensong, a moving meditation from Giles Fraser on what the Brits call "Remembrance Day" about "The Lies of War & The Lies of Peace." (Wish there was a text to post but there is not. You'll have to take my word for it that it was great.)
And then, this morning, I finally got to yesterday's papers and saw Frank Rich's Op-ed -- The Coup at Home -- which is a must-read for anybody concerned about the soul of this nation and for anybody committed to preserving what is best about this nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal.
On Veteran's Day, the day we remember and honor those who risked their lives to preserve freedom and democracy, Rich calls us ALL to account for our complicity in the undermining of the foundational American values our veterans have served. An excerpt:
In the six years of compromising our principles since 9/11, our democracy has so steadily been defined down that it now can resemble the supposedly aspiring democracies we've propped up in places like Islamabad. Time has taken its toll. We've become inured to democracy-lite.
To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal.
We are a people in clinical depression. Americans know that the ideals that once set our nation apart from the world have been vandalized, and no matter which party they belong to, they do not see a restoration anytime soon.
Veteran's Day IS a time to honor and a time to remember ... AND a time to strengthen our resolve to nurture peace and hope in our hearts.
May it also be a time for us to speak truth to the powers that vandalize our values, to refuse to allow torture to be committed in our name and to refuse to allow the sacrifices our veterans have made to be squandered by those by subverting the rule of law and selling out the Constitution they pledged their lives to defend against all enemies, foreign AND domestic.