Spirit of Life, God of Love, walk with me through these rows of flags which represent the true cost of war. Slow my pace so that I might touch each one and imagine how much pain their loved ones felt when the news of their death arrived. Let me wade into that river of salt water tears which flowed from memories locked in the minds of mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, and yes, of children. From row upon row let the salt water flow until it washes from me all thoughts of revenge and self-righteousness, arrogance and self serving little means.

On the banks of this new day, dry my eyes so that I might see more clearly Your vision of peace where every men and women, whatever their belief, whatever their homeland, will “beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks and study war no more.” With clear eyes let me see the practicality of Your vision and focus on how I can use my one life to move the world one more step closer to peace. Let me not dismiss Your vision as futile or proclaim my life as insignificant to the task, rather let me walk out of these rows of flags cleansed by all the lives and tears they represent.

We who call you by many names and worship You in many ways, we who may simply stand in silence before the wonders of the universe and the gift of life, pledge ourselves here to shape our remaining days into the peace we seek and the courage and hope they have given us.

Stephen M. Shick


Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson

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