On the 11th November 1918, Private Arthur Wrench of the Seaforth Highlanders wrote in his diary, “I think it is quite hopeless to describe what today means to us. We, who will return to tell people what war really is, surely hope that 11am this day will be of great significance to generations to come. Surely this is the last war that will ever be between nations.” We know that sadly it wasn’t to be.
John McCrae wrote…
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below
We are dead, short days ago
we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
PRAYERSO God of truth and justice, we hold before you those whose memory we cherish, and those whose names we will never know.
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world, and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.
As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future;
For you are the source of life and hope,
now and forever. Amen.
Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God’.
From the URC Prayer Handbook: Peace loving God, we remember all who have fallen in war; those who relive war daily through injury or broken spirit, those left behind, grieving for a loved one. And as we remember, we pray for those who seek peace.
We pray for peace.
We pray for all things that hurt through the thoughtlessness of others.
We pray for justice.
And Lord, help us to be peacemakers so that we might all be called your children. Amen.
The first British Poppy Day appeal was launched in 1921 on the 11th of November. It was the third anniversary of the Armistice to end the Great War. Proceeds from the sale of artificial French-made poppies were given to ex-servicemen in need of welfare and financial support.