Last week during a family visit I happened upon mementos of my father’s naval service at the end of World War II.
My dad graduated from college in May 1945 and went immediately to basic naval training at the Great Lakes naval cent er. He was deployed from San Diego at the end of July to serve on the U.S.S. Currituck, an AV7 seaplane tender, in the Philippines. Within days of his shipping out, the war ended. In the months that followed, Dad served on the Currituck in Lingayen Gulf and Okinawa, and in support of the reoccupation of the Chinese mainland.
I am keenly aware, as ever was he, that my father was fortunate enough not to see combat–that he and his family were spared the fear and grief endured by so many in those years, and in the long list of wars since that time.
Veterans Day this year continues commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. It is an occasion for us to recollect with solemn gratitude the cessation of that war, to pray for an end to warfare and strife in every time and place and to give thanks for those who have served with honor in the armed forces of our nation.
O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[The Book of Common Prayer, p. 839]
Faithfully and gratefully,
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates