One hundred people attended an interfaith prayer breakfast November 8 at the National Cathedral to honor United States veterans. The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr., former secretary of Veterans Affairs, was the keynote speaker. Prayers were offered by Jewish, Buddhist, and Christian military chaplains, and the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants offered musical selections, as well the National Anthem.
Cathedral Dean Gary Hall welcomed guests, “This Cathedral has long served as a central place for honoring and commemorating those who have selflessly fought for freedom and protected our country,” he said. “Because earlier veterans were memorialized here—and because you are here today—this Cathedral will be able to serve as a place of respite for the veterans of our future: men and women who will know that their struggles will continue to be recorded and honored in a place that works to recharge their spirits. We want all Americans who serve, regardless of background or faith perspective, to recognize the Cathedral as a source of strength, enrichment, and faith in their shared endeavor of achieving peace.”
The event, sponsored by Dr. J. Phillip London and Dr. Jennifer Burkhart London, with further support from the Episcopal Office of Armed Forces and Federal Ministries, also commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Korean War and the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.