The following is an excerpt from a sermon about Veterans Day by Steven Protzman, a minister at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Iowa City.
Tomorrow, Veterans’ Day, is a holiday. We take this time to remember and to honor our veterans, people who were willing to risk their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy, the privileges we take for granted. I thank our veterans and I honor you this day, but my words, indeed any words, of thanks are not enough. Nor should we mark the day by celebrating with parades or fireworks or festive outings. Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day should be days of sorrow and repentance for all the times in human history and in American history when we settled with the sword what should have been settled with words of peace and reconciliation. These should be days to grieve our brutality and evil, our inability to find peaceful means to overcome our differences and to live in harmony with one another. These should be days in which we dare to dream of world peace, even if it seems impossible. These should be days in which we truly thank and honor our veterans by committing our lives to waging peace.