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  • Dana Evan Kaplan

Our Veterans Day Service

Photo Credit: Shirley B

Thanks to the initiative by First Vice President Michael P., we were able to host a special Veterans Day Shabbat service on Friday, November 11, 2016. Retired Army Col. Sid V., spoke on “the life and times of the modern soldier.” Col. V. used his career pattern as an example of the type of life and jobs that a career Army officer can expect. He then described how much more challenging life is today for our young soldiers and their families with the never-ending wars we face. He also discussed the commitment these young soldiers are making compared to historical examples. Col. V. stressed that we need to support them and ensure our civilian leadership does not misuse their patriotism.

We also had special music arranged by our congregational choir director, Sharmein M., which included “Homeland” by Gustav Holst, “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin, and “America the Beautiful” by Samuel A. Ward. We concluded with a special prayer from the rabbi’s prayer manual for members of our armed forces and a prayer for our country.

Col. V. gave a very interesting and sometimes surprising portrayal of the life of the modern American soldier. One of the things that he spoke about was how military are now expected to move quite a bit. Much of this is back-and-forth from combat duty, which is extraordinarily stressful, but some of it is just moving from posting to posting in non-combat situations, which is necessary to meet the needs of the new military.

Photo Credit: Susie F

Finally, the following blessing was performed for our veterans:

Sovereign of the Universe! רִ וֹבּנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם

We invoke Your blessings

upon the members of our military forces,

those brave men and women

whose courage and commitment to that for which this country stands

protects us all.

Whether by air, land, or sea —

wherever their orders take them —

we ask, dear God,

that they be protected within Your sheltering presence.

Shield them from harm and from pain,

assuage their loneliness,

and sustain their faith

in the face of the formidable enemies

that they confront on a daily basis.

May all of their efforts be crowned with victory,

and with the assurance that we who depend on their courage

appreciate and understand the great difficulty of their work.

Most of all, we pray what for all soldiers is the ultimate prayer —

that they be privileged to return to the loving arms of their families

and of a grateful country

safely, speedily, and in good health.

Because of their courage,

may we all be privileged to know and savor

the blessings of true peace and security.

Together we say: Amen.

Photo Credit: Susie F

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