Each year, our school holds a very special service for Remembrance Day. Combining drama, music, speeches and song, this ceremony helps us to reflect on conflicts past and present, to recognize the sacrifices of our predecessors and to consider our own role in creating peace.
Remembrance Day Prayers
by Rev. Keven Fletcher
This room was built for sport: volleyball, badminton, basketball. It wasn’t intended to be a place to remember the dead.
Yet somehow it’s fitting.
Because right now in other parts of the world fields have been sown with landmines; balconies have become nests for snipers; classrooms are used to teach hate. None of this is as it should be, either. And when one opens up the newspaper and reads the same blood-soaked headlines again, there seems so much reason for despair.
Yet our world is neither that simple nor that dark.
For if one wants to talk about things being out of sync with their surroundings, consider that even in places of great oppression, there are those with the courage to speak out for change; Even in the rubble of burned out homes, there are people ready to forgive; Even in the chaos of refugee camps, there are acts of generosity and goodness that fill our world with light.
And look at us. We who sit side by side. Citizens of so many nations, no longer held captive by the shadows of our history, gathering, not to remember sides, but to mark our common loss.
Think about that.
Today, we will read a letter from a Headmaster who left the school to serve; and I’m sure there are schools from all our homelands that could share similar letters. Today, we will name SMUS students who died in war; and again schools from so many countries could offer their lists.
Yet at the same time do remember that this gathering is not just about our common losses of the past, it’s also about what’s happening now and what will happen in our future. For, unlike so many of our sisters and brothers on this planet, we do not suffer in a place of oppression or in burned out homes or in refugee camps. And if there are people in those places who speak out, forgive and fill our world with light, imagine what would happen if we who sit side by side gave ourselves and joined them.
Today, we gather in a gymnasium to remember those who gave so much. As we remember their lives, what could be more fitting, more in sync than to let their names and memory prod us to consider what we will give.