Monday, April 18, 2011

"And fired the shot heard 'round the world....."

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Patriot's Day commemorates the start of a war. The war that led to our independence, true, but a war in which young men were hurt and killed nonetheless. We are at war now, and so once more young people are in danger. I know some of them mostly through my work at the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park. I pray for them and I pray for peace.

On the great seal of the United States, there is an eagle. It's right talon holds an olive branch, its left a cluster of thirteen arrows. Since the time of Harry S. Truman, the eagle's head has faced right. Right is also considered the side of honor. The very first seal of the US showed the eagle's head facing right. At other points in history it has faced left. Some say that until Truman made the change the head pointed toward the olive branch when we were at peace and towards the arrows when we were at war.

I am not sure why President Truman decided that the head should always face right, but it seems appropriate. We are either in a time of peace or we wish to be. While we honor those who fight for us, we do not really want to send them to do so. So we pray for wars to end, for peace to reign, and we know that someday that will be the case. In the meantime, God send that our soldiers all come home.

Have a blessed day.

"After much occasion to consider the folly and mischiefs of a state of warfare, and the little or no advantage obtained even by those nations who have conducted it with the most success, I have been apt to think that there has never been, or ever will be, any such thing as a good war, or a bad peace." – Benjamin Franklin

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