Today, Veterans’ Day, we pray for all the persons who gave their lives in our nation’s wars, and also for those who lost a part of themselves through trauma or disabling wounds. They gave themselves to defend us. Most were very young:  18, 19, almost all in their twenties. Most had not had the chance to savor adult life, marriage, family, career. We owe them much.

            Veterans Day began as the Armistice that brought an end to “the War to End All Wars” in 1918 exactly 100 years ago today. But war did not end, because injustices continued, and godless philosophies and national ambition brought us World War II with far greater slaughter. Thoughtful people everywhere know that there can be no World War III without destroying the human race.

            The Catholic Church, in union with many other Christian churches, has constantly thought that lasting peace is in proportion to how just our society is, both at home and in the world. Military force does its best work by policing conflict areas to prevent the causes of war, to protect the innocent. We would be naïve though to think that our military’s deployment doesn’t also serve to protect our country’s vested economic interest. We need government leaders who see the limits of force and aim always for a just and lasting peace with all nations.

                        Father John Hynes