Service to Mark 100th Anniversary of WWI Armistice

Event Date: November 11, 2018 at 7:45 am Event Location: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Lappans marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice which ended World War I on Veteran’s Day Sunday, November 11.  All three worship services at 7:45, 9 and 11 AM, will include World War I-era hymns and poems, along with scripture appointed for the day.  At 10 AM there will be a sing-along of popular World War I-era songs in the Fellowship Center; followed—at 11:00—with a tolling of the bell in the historic church, accompanied by the organ playing an elegy, including taps.  St. Mark’s, located at 18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD, 21713, welcomes the entire community to this celebration of remembrance and in honor of all veterans, and is pleased to host Chaplain Lindsey E. Arnold, a retired U.S. Army chaplain, as the preacher for all three services.  Attendees will be offered a poppy to wear in remembrance, a custom observed throughout the Anglican Communion.  There will be a drawing for 25 commemorative pins marking the ringing of the bell at 11/11/11 AM.

When asked about his 32 years of military service, Chaplain Arnold simply laughs.  “Well, I originally thought I was going in for two, but inertia kept me in for 30 more!”  In actuality, he notes that it was not quite that simple; after his initial service in intelligence and special operations, he left active duty in order to complete seminary, then returned as a chaplain.  His seminary experience at Princeton deepened his interest in World War I.  “I still have my grandfather’s helmet from that war,” he noted, “but when I went to Princeton there were metal stars throughout the campus marking rooms occupied by students who had been killed in France, and battle flags of volunteer companies raised from Princeton hanging in the chapel; it made history real.”  Musing further on his own wartime experiences in Iraq, he thinks that a key difference between those wars was the length of combat.  “Our deployments are for a year or so.  In World War I—like World War II—soldiers served in combat for four years, at times even more.  That takes an incredible toll, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well.”  His interest is well-known to his family.  His youngest daughter, now grown, reminded him on the phone last week that he explained to her—ironically, when they were stationed in Germany—that her grandmother called November 11 “Armistice Day” because the war had ended on the “11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month.

Chaplain Arnold is particularly excited about participating in Sunday’s services at St. Mark’s.  “Well first of all, I feel totally honored to speak on this occasion, which is a Sunday is for the whole community to which everyone is welcome!  But observing it at St. Mark’s, an Episcopal Church, is particularly special.  The Anglican tradition connects Americans really closely with people from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand…all comrades in arms during that war and in so many thereafter—even in Afghanistan today.”  But, he emphatically maintains, this Sunday is not about a single church or tradition, but about our community as a whole.  “You know, November 11 is called, “Remembrance Sunday” in most of the world, and it does mark the ending of World War I.  But I think it is really for remembering and celebrating almost everyone:  veterans, their families, police officers, firefighters, EMT’s, nurses, teachers, mothers and fathers, good neighbors, I could list these forever:  so many people doing so many things to help others.”

Chaplain Arnold notes that he is, after all, a preacher, so “Obviously, I am going to strongly invite everyone to join us for church at St. Mark’s on Sunday!”  He adds, however, “But the point of coming is not to listen to my words, sing the songs, or ring the bell…the point is to join as a community and remember!—remember not only the joy of an armistice and peace; but all of our friends and neighbors who serve and work for good today.”

For more information about the church and directions call 301-582-0417 or go to the church website:  www.stmarkslappans.org

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