Reflections on Memorial Day: those who serve & sacrifice, those who work for peace

Only the dead have seen the end of war. — Plato

This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home … it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom. — Tamra Bolton

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. — Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. — Mark Twain

Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. — Adlai Stevenson

Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion. — Gandhi

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter – but beautiful – struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons (and daughters) of God, and our brothers (and sisters) wait eagerly for our response. — Martin Luther King

Memorial Day Prayer —Carl Schenck
We gather on a somber holiday.
We remember with sadness those we have loved and lost.
Let us not glorify the conflicts and violence
that tear our loved ones from us.
Let us, rather, give glory to God,
who calls us to use our freedom peaceably.
Our God is a God of all nations and peoples.
May our worship of God unite rather than divide.

Songs for Memorial Day Weekend

Film Clips

Protest & Peace Songs:


Memorial Day (excerpt)— Michael Anania … We know the stories that are told,
by starts and stops, by bent men at strange joy
regarding the precise enactments of their own
gesturing. And among the women there will be
a naming of families, a counting off, an ordering …


Peace — Langston Hughes
We passed their graves:
The dead men there,
Winners or losers,
Did not care.
In the dark
They could not see
Who had gained
The victory.


Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
— Wallace Bruce


You silent tents of green,
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Notes on Memorial Day (excerpt) Lillian Daniel

Memorial Day began after the Civil War as an effort toward reconciliation between the families of veterans in the North and the South. After the war, there was already a tradition in the North of decorating soldiers’ graves, called “Decoration Day.” But in 1868 an organization of Northern war veterans decreed it ought to be a national holiday. May 30 was carefully chosen as the date because it was not the anniversary of a specific battle, and therefore would be a neutral date for both sides. But human beings hold on to their wounds, and reconciliation takes time, grace and mercy…

Memorializing Rightly (excerpt) — Debra Dean Murphy

… much of our memorializing will trend, as it always does, toward … the simplistic, the cliche-riddled hyperpatriotism that does a disservice to the women and men who fight and die in wars conceived by powerful men … Surely it’s possible to honor the selflessness that’s part of soldiering and to mourn the fallen without slipping into the kind of sentimental white-washing that denies the complexities and ambiguities, the compromises and betrayals, both large and small, that the war dead knew well? Why, then, can’t we–in their stead, on their behalf, for their sake–be honest enough to honor such truths? … May we remember and memorialize … all deaths, this day and every day, with the truth-telling they deserve.

On Those Who Serve & Sacrifice

Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history. — Mary Roach

It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result. — Gandhi

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. — Winston Churchill

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. — G.K. Chesteron

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.  — Joseph Campbell

Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise
that every human life is of inestimable value. — Bishop Desmond Tutu

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived. — George S. Patton

Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well. — Jennifer Granholm

Work for what you believe in, but pick your battles, and don’t burn your bridges. Don’t be afraid to take charge, think about what you want, then do the work, but then enjoy what makes you happy, bring along your crew, have a sense of humor. — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices. — Harry Truman

Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have
and all that they are. — Hafsat Abiola

It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. – General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! – Maya Angelou

I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it. ― Wangari Maathai

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. — John F Kennedy

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. — Gandhi

Peace Workers

On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live. — Eric Burdon

One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world. ― Malala Yousafzai

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. — Nelson Mandela

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. —John F. Kennedy

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. — Eleanor Roosevelt

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. — Henri Nouwen

We must pursue peaceful ends by peaceful means. I’m committed to nonviolence absolutely … I will continue to preach and teach it… I plan to stand by nonviolence. …(because) only a refusal to hate or kill can put an end to the chain of violence in the world and lead toward community where people live together without fear. — Martin Luther King

Today, we are truly a global family. What happens in one part of the world may affect us all. This, of course, is not only true of the negative things that happen, but is equally valid for the positive developments. … But war or peace; the destruction or the protection of nature; the violation or promotion of human rights and democratic freedoms; poverty or material well-being; the lack of moral and spiritual values or their existence and development; and the breakdown or development of human understanding, are not isolated phenomena that can be analysed and tackled independently of one another. In fact, they are very much interrelated at all levels and need to be approached with that understanding…  Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each one of us individually. Peace, for example, starts with each one of us. — Dalai Lama

When you have a conflict, that means that there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict. And when you have a conflict, then it’s an educational process to try to resolve the conflict.
And to resolve that, you have to get people on both sides of the conflict involved so that they can dialogue. — Dolores Huerta

The answer lies in the last word of the priestly blessing: shalom, peace. In a long analysis the 15th century Spanish Jewish commentator Rabbi Isaac Arama explains that shalom does not mean merely the absence of war or strife. It means completeness, perfection, the harmonious working of a complex system, integrated diversity, a state in which everything is in its proper place and all is at one with the physical and ethical laws governing the universe. — Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Violence and nonviolence agree that suffering can be a very powerful social force. But there is a difference. Violence says suffering can be a powerful social force by inflicting it on somebody else, so this is what we do in war… The nonviolent say that suffering becomes a powerful social force when you willingly accept the violence on yourself, so that self-suffering stands at the center of the nonviolent movement… There is no easy way to create a world where people can live together… but if such a world is created…it will be accomplished by persons who have the language to put an end to suffering by willingly suffering themselves rather than inflicting suffering on others… Unearned suffering is redemptive. — Martin Luther King
 

CELEBRATING the LIFE of MARY HOWE

Here is the biography shared by her family: Mary Francoise Paul Howe of Jackson, NH died suddenly on December 4, 2019 at a youthful 84 years old.
  Mary was born on September 5, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA. Her parents had immigrated to the US from Normandy, France the year before her birth. During WWII they moved to Montreal, Canada. When Mary was a teenager the family moved to Denver, CO. She attended Kent Denver Country Day School for Girls, where she was a member of International Relations Club with her friend and classmate, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. After graduating, she attended Pembroke College in Providence, RI.    In her 20s, Mary was living in Cambridge, MA and joined friends on trips to Overlook, the Howe family summer home, in Jackson, NH, where she met John Howe. They discovered a shared passion for fly-fishing, went out fly-fishing together, and fell in love.    They married in Ann Arbor, MI in 1961. In marrying John, Mary gained two stepsons, Andrew and Nathaniel. Daughter Catherine (Cuppy) was born the following September. They moved to Fairbanks, AK, where John worked on early weather satellite research. Mary took classes at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, including silver working. In 1965, they moved to Annapolis, MD, where daughter Lucy was born. Next they moved to Acton, MA where John worked for GE on early nuclear submarine development. In 1969 John and Mary decided to return to Jackson and live year-round at Overlook, while John worked as an engineer at the Mount Washington Observatory until his retirement.    Mary began raising sheep, chickens, pigs and other animals and had expansive and chaotic vegetable gardens. She encouraged her daughters to participate in all of these endeavors. Cuppy and Lucy also remember many messy finger painting projects on the kitchen floor in their underpants. The family frequently hiked in the Presidential Range and sailed off the coast of Maine. Mary loved to travel and was lucky enough to have friends and family who were willing to take care of her daughters while she went off on adventures.    Once her daughters left home, Mary got involved in local politics. She was on the school board and the conservation board. She was part of a local bird watching group. John retired in 1988 and they bought and refurbished Vixen,an old wooden sailboat. They lived aboard for several years, sailing between Maine and the Bahamas, their grand adventure. It was at this time Mary began painting.    In recent years, Mary was active in the Jackson arts community and her painting career flourished. She was an early supporter of the Tin Mountain Conservation Center and an avid birder. She was also a member of a French Club and the Jackson Community Church and its poetry group. Her most recent passion was learning to play classical guitar.    Aside from her husband, John, she leaves behind her sister Annick Paul Lopez, daughters, Catherine (Cuppy) and her husband, Dick Gordon, of Wellesley, MA; and Lucy and her husband, Reese Hersey, of East Calais, VT; as well as her stepsons, Andrew Howe and his wife, Gay, of Jackson, NH; and Nathaniel Howe and his wife, Pamela Hitchcock, of Belfast, ME. Additionally, she leaves her seven adored grandchildren, Whitney and Spencer Howe; Molly Howe and her husband, Jake Newton; John (Gus), Charlie, and Sam Gordon; and Ogden (Noggo) Hersey.    A service will be held at the Jackson Community Church Saturday, December 21 at 2:00. All are welcome. Donations can be made in her memory to Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Albany, NH at tinmountain.org

Farewell to Bradley Read Thayer, Full Bio of Nancy Bornhofft

FAREWELL to BRADLEY READ THAYER

The Benson family extends gratitude to friends and neighbors for their support throughout the vigil that preceded the death of Emily Benson’s father: Bradley Read Thayer. He died on Saturday, Feb 17 in Hanover, NH, surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his family, which includes his daughter Emily and her husband Peter and their children PJ and Hannah. More information will be available at a later time, and memorial will probably be planned for the summer in the Whitefield, NH area.


REMEMBERING NANCY LOWE BORNHOFFT

Nancy Lowe Bornhofft, 97 of Jackson, New Hampshire and Gloucester, MA

At the request of her Nancy Bornhofft’s family,
we share with you her full obituary.

Two words that surface when people talk about Nancy Bornhofft are “gracious” and “indomitable.” She was born in 1921 in Belmont, Massachusetts and passed away in her Annisquam home on February 1, 2018 just days after celebrating her 97th birthday with her family. An educator and community leader, she lived fully and independently her entire life. Continue reading “Farewell to Bradley Read Thayer, Full Bio of Nancy Bornhofft”

Remembering Nancy Bornhofft

From Lisbeth Bornhofft, daughter of Nancy Bornhofft, to the friends and members of Jackson Community Church, “I just want you to know that my mother, Nancy Bornhofft, passed away yesterday in her home in Gloucester, MA. She died living fully and independently, as she would have wished, after celebrating her 97th birthday with family only three days before.”

At church this morning, people shared memories of Nancy’s active role in such causes as Hope on the Slope, which benefits the American Cancer Society, as well as many other special interests. She was beloved in this community, and will be missed. We are grateful for her life among us.

We will share other details as they are made available.

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