All suffering and sorrow will be no more

While “Decoration Day” was observed to commemorate fallen soldiers after the Civil War, the practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers stretches back into the mists of antiquity. By the end of the Second World War the preferred name was Memorial Day, which only became an official holiday after the passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968.

Now seen as an occasion to remember all who have departed, once again I remember in particular a man who overcame a few challenges to work his way into combat.

 READ: Like his brother he will be cool, thoughtful and devoted in any crisis.

After a battlefield commission the old boy survived the War in the Pacific and came home a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s 594th Boat and Shore Regiment. Soon after he married his sweetheart and went on to father six children, of which I am proudly one.

This song, written and performed by Peter Skellern (backed up by the choral group, Libra) was composed to commemorate Remembrance Day, observed by British Commonwealth countries since the end of The Great War to remember those who died in the line of duty.

Though the imagery isn’t exactly Unitarian Universalist in sentiment, it’s rather splendid none-the-less … “for all who need comfort, for all those who mourn …”

LISTEN: Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory

For all who need comfort, for all those who mourn

All those whom we cherished will be reborn.

All those whom we love but see no more

They are not perished, but gone before,

And lie in the tender arms of he who died for us all to set us free

From hatred and anger and cruel tyranny.

May they Rest in Peace – and Rise in Glory.

All suffering and sorrow will be no more

They’ll vanish like shadows at heaven’s door.

All anguish and grieving will one day be healed

When all of God’s purpose will be revealed.

Though now for a season lost from sight

The innocent slain in the blindness of “Right”

Are now in the warmth of God’s glorious light

Where they Rest in Peace – and Rise in Glory

Lord give me wisdom to comprehend why I survive and not my friend

And teach me compassion so I may live, all my enemies to forgive.

For all who need comfort for all those who mourn

All those whom we cherished will be reborn.

All those whom we love but see no more

They are not perished but gone before.

Lord keep them safe in your embrace

And fill their souls with your good grace

For now they see you face to face

Where they Rest in Peace – and Rise in Glory.

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