Sophia says: “Earlier this week the U.S. celebrated Veterans’ Day, known in many other countries as Remembrance Day. At this time last year I was commuting to a postdoc in Canada, and I was moved by the many red poppies that showed up there on people’s lapels in honor of the observance. Unlike a flag lapel pin, which to me has political connotations and implies approval of our current war, the poppies simply honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have followed their consciences by serving–sometimes dying–in the military.

This week’s Friday Five invites reflection on the theme of remembrance, which is also present in the feasts of All Saints, celebrated in many liturgical churches on November 1, and All Souls–known in Latin@ cultures as the Day of the Dead–celebrated in some the following day. “

1. Did your church have any special celebrations for All Saints/All Soul’s Day?

Yes, we celebrated All Saints Day and remembered the saints and those who had died in the last year.  Sophia was in Chicago, and she and her husband came over to spend time with Tracy and me. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and love.

2. How about Veterans’ Day?

We sang to songs for the veterans and had prayer for the veterans and those serving today, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans’ Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break?

No, we didn’t. My sister and I had the day out of school, but Mom and Dad usually worked. Same now: I could take the day off, but Tracy was at work.

4. Is there a veteran in your life, living or dead, whose dedication you remember and celebrate? Or perhaps a loved one presently serving in the armed forces?

Yes, both of my grandfathers served during WW2. My maternal grandfather was in the Pacific and my paternal grandfather in Europe. I also remembered my friend from high school who is currently serving in Iraq.

5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on?

Yes, I remember them and imagine them as part of the great cloud of saints that is around me cheering me on.