Today, on the Day Itself, both the Middle School and the Upper School held their events. The Lower School has a special day planned for Thursday of this week, with a guest speaker from the Armed Forces.
The Middle School began the day at the flagpole, raising the flag and hearing two students and a faculty member playing the national anthem. Dr. Goss made a few remarks and offered this prayer:
Lord Jesus, the Captain of my soul, who endured the pain of battle with the old evil Foe in order to secure my redemption, grant me a grateful heart for the freedoms I enjoy through your grace and mercy.
Help me to treasure my spiritual freedom from sin, death, and the devil, and open my lips continually to praise you for my liberty in you.
Teach me to be thankful for my liberties in this blessed land, which were won and preserved for me by the sacrifices of my countrymen. Help me to honor their memory by a conscientious and loyal citizenship and a readiness to defend the rights of free people everywhere.
Grant thy comfort to families who today remember with sorrow the death of one who gave his or her life for our country. Sustain those veterans who are confined to hospitals throughout our land, who bear the scars of war, so that I might enjoy the wholesomeness of peace and freedom.
Keep me from forgetting the heroes of the past lest I become a coward in the face of the future. Grant the gift of peace to our land and to the world, so that you Gospel may have free course and more people everywhere may march under your lordship beneath the banner of your cross. Amen.
The Upper School gathered in the US Library (won't it be great to have a Commons!?) to hear from Durham businessman Joe Collie, who was in France on the front lines during the winter of 1944-45. Mr. Collie told stories of his time on the front, of the liberation of France, of his reunions with friends. He brought his jacket, with many medals affixed, and explained them to the students.
On this day, we acknowledge the endless debt of gratitude we have to men and women like Joe Collie and especially to their fallen comrades.