Among the Flags – A Responsive Reading
We have gathered here among the flags
“To remember all that has been lost and all that has been gained by the death of these men and women
We have gathered here, young and old, liberal and conservative, those who believe these deaths were necessary and those who believe otherwise.
Each of us carrying to this moment the remnants of our own life’s journey, our own experiences with death and dying, our experiences with war and peace, and the meaning we have extracted from them
Some of us have traveled through other wars, some through non-violent struggles for peace, and still others have traveled through personal trials which have cost them their innocence.
Each us comes here to this Field of Flags where death is no abstraction and where none of us dare judge the motives and assumptions of another
Here, whatever our belief, we stop to cry for the loss of those these flags represent
We cry for those they have left behind who must gather meaning from grief and hope from pain and despair.
Here we remember the courage of those who have died
May we learn from them so that we might live in the face of our own fears and live more freely.
Here we remember their commitment to a greater good
May we learn from them what it means to live unselfishly for the common good.
Here we remember the glory of self sacrifice in the name of ideals that transcend our individual lives and particular ideologies
May we take from their glory what we need to transcend small and self serving goals
Here we remember that those who have died need not have died in vain
On the altar of our broken hearts we pledge our allegiance to the dawning of a new day when we, the children of this earth, will no longer find it necessary to go to war.
In the name of all that is holy, may it be so.