Dear Friends and Pagani,
At Samahin many of us Pagans honor the Beloved and Honored Dead, and then (in the U.S.) there’s Thanksgiving and then Yule/Winter Solstice; a smooth and orderly progression within the dark half of the Wheel of the Year, from honoring the beloved and Honored Dead to celebrating and remembering the Beloved and Honored Living.
In the face of such terrible acts we can must choose how to respond. We can breathe deeply and consciously, partaking of both the life and energy around us and the interconnectedness of all things, all beings. We can meditate. We can pray. We can strive to move forward within our lives as best we can. We can learn. Prehaps most importantly we can remember.
Veterans Day gives any Pagan, but especially those of us who are seeking after the Religio Americana, an opportunity to remember and honor those who have lain down their life for our Nation, and equally important, to remember and thank those who are currently living their lives for this Nation or who have served in the past but are still amongst the honored living. Some Pagans, amongst those that observe Samhain, might say that such Veterans Day observances seem superfluous or excessive coming on the heels of The Feast of The Dead.
I would say that given that the Religious Freedom I enjoy to celebrate Samhain is bought and paid for in the blood, sweat, and tears of U.S. Servicemen and women, that honoring them in this way is the very least we can do!
So light your incense, pour your libations, and create your rites of thanksgiving. Make offerings of incense, and pour libations, and speak poems of praise to the dead. Remember their sacrifices and actions. Take a moment to shake the hands of the living, and say “thank you”. Heck, lets aside our differences and come together across the lines of Traditions and organizations to sponsor feasts and special rituals and observances for Veterans Day and for our own Pagan Veterans.
Who, and what, is remembered lives.