If you were to pick up pen and paper and write a letter setting out your life this week…
If you were to do that and then put your paper beside the one that came from a soldier on the front line of a battlefield in another time; a soldier who wrote plainly about their day and what was on their mind…
If you were to put those two pieces of paper side by side, would you see how much you have in common? That, although your context is different, the very heart of you is filled with similar content: similar hopes, fears, dreams.
And holding onto your piece of paper, would you begin to comprehend what it would mean for this to suddenly become the record of your last week, your last words, prematurely set, as such, through the horror of war? You see, our separation from the soldiers we remember is one of context, not content. Which calls upon us to remember the dead in a way that impacts the living, our living examining their words and lives and our own, side by side.
This morning, words written in 1914 by Captain Harvey, one our school’s first leaders, will be read by the person who currently holds that role.
This morning through a series of letters scribed from the perspective of those touched by war, our drama team will connect us to another place and time.
This morning as the candles are extinguished we will hear the names of our students who died in the wars — names given breath again by those who now walk the same halls.
In this ceremony, may we remember the dead without forgetting ourselves and our connection to them, so that in remembering we both mark their sacrifice and see our promise:
What we might do — what we must do — to end violence and war and together build a more just and peaceful world.