POW/MIA recognition day is commemorated on the third Friday of every September, today, a date that's not associated with any particular war. In 1979, Congress and the president passed resolutions making it official after the families of the more than 2,500 Vietnam War POW/MIAs pushed for full accountability.
During the first POW/MIA Recognition Day commemoration, a ceremony was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., while the 1st Tactical Squadron from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia flew the missing man formation. Most ceremonies since then have been held at the Pentagon, and many smaller observances have cropped up across the nation and around the world on military installations.
Remembering either people, places, or things of the past is a good practice. It is especially good when the names of those who have died in the past are once more spoken in the present time. That action brings them alive for us today.
Who or what is it that you could be remembering today? Run through the list of names of those who have been significant to you or those things that have made you who you are today and silently say “thank you” to and for them. This action may bring a tear or two, that’s not just OK, that’s good. It’s when we can say “thank you” to those people and pieces of our past that we can then, in like manner, say “hello” to what lies ahead.
St. Luke’s is on the cusp of the next chapter of ministering in this place. Remembering the people and personalities of the past, saying “thank you” for the positive contributions they have made, clears the way for the challenges and opportunities of what lies ahead. These memories can be springboards providing energy and momentum powering St. Luke’s into an even more dynamic and diverse future.
We as individuals or as a church do well to remember but not dwell in the past; by gleaning from it all that is good we open ourselves to an even better future. May God bless our remembering today preparing us individually and collectively for what lies ahead.