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Friday, November 14, 2008

Veteran's Day Friday Five

Posted by Sophia "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?
My church of the moment does, I think, as it's a "holy day of obligation", but I don't feel obliged anymore. Not sure about my next church, whatever that will be?

2. How about Veterans' Day?
Not sure
I don't think so

3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break?
My father probably got drunk as he often did to commemorate the war or any other holiday. I remember flags in the cemetery.

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?
My father who was a disabled Veteran of WWII and probably had PTSD, though there wasn't a word for it then.

5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on?
I have worked with veterans with dual diagnosis, substance abuse and mental illness for parts of my career. Can you call that a personal ritual? BTW, the VA does not call SA a disability, they call this willful disobedience and discharge the the vet for it with less than an honorable discharge. This means that the vet cannot use the VA for treatment for their substance abuse which they probably started to treat their PTSD!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Prayer Booths

They're big news in NY and some people are using them to pray.

NEW YORK (AP) — You could mistake it for a typical New York City phone booth. But instead of an image of a phone, the side panels depict folded hands — and the word "prayer" instead of "telephone." Oh, and there's a flip-down kneeler.
The Public Prayer Booth was conceived by Dylan Mortimer, a recent graduate of New York's School of Visual Arts who lives in Kansas City.
The 29-year-old said he wanted to spark dialogue about prayer.
The public installation is sponsored by the city's Arts in the Park program.
A pair of the booths can be found near the entrance to the Roosevelt Island tram in midtown Manhattan until Dec. 7.
Jackson, Tenn., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also have Mortimer Prayer Booths.