NOVEMBER is a month of days full of remembering and giving thanks! To name a few. . .We started with All Saints and All Souls Days which give us opportunities to recall loved ones who have gone before us.
Veterans’ Day sets forth a time in which we honor those, living and dead, who have fought for, died for and have been wounded for peace. A difficult memory for many as we realize the carnage that comes from war; frequently the loss of family members, friends and those persons – especially women, children, the elderly – who continue to lose their lives through the use of ever more dangerous weapons-DRONES- which, at times, strike the innocent.
Another difficult memory for many of us is November 22, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Fifty years later conspiracy theories abound. Even though it was supposedly settled by the Warren Commission which, based on the evidence at the time, decided it was one lone gunman ~ Lee Harvey Oswald. I spent this morning -reflecting on Kennedy’s speeches. In his inaugural address one of the challenges he calls us to states: “In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.”
Another less known speech concerning peace and one worth remembering in today’s world: “What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”
And so we take time out on THANKSGIVING, a national holiday, steeped in a tradition that often brings family and friends together, grateful for the best within our traditions. We recognize, too, the struggle continues as we strive to bring forth the best in our country with its growing diversity and increasing polarization. Finally, we acknowledge that we are one nation among many as we strive to work for the Common Good in a globalized world.