Honoring All Who Serve — Past & Present

11.10.17 | Pulpit Posts

Tomorrow, November 11 is Veterans Day, a federal holiday, dating back to the First World War. It was originally called Armistice Day to mark the armistice that ended hostilities between the Allies and the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires which was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 on a rail carriage in the Compiegne Forest in France. It original purpose was to honor all soldiers who had died in that conflict from 1914-1918. In 1954 Congress passed legislation to rename the day as Veterans Day to honor all veterans of war living and departed. This distinguishes it from Memorial Day which is very much a commemoration of members of the military who died in time of war.

Veterans have often been overlooked or ignored or forgotten by the very societies they served through their military service. That was particularly painful for veterans of the Vietnam War who did their duty for their country in what turned out to be such a divisive and bitterly argued over conflict. Rather than returning home to welcome and recognition many came back to vilification or misunderstanding. It took over 20 years before Vietnam War memorials were proposed and erected or that Vietnam vets were welcomed to march in annual parades. It was the same in Australia as it was here. Sadly, it also took many years before injuries from Agent Orange and what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome were properly recognized, treated and compensated. In other words, many vets have had to do it hard and have had to put up with bureaucratic run arounds as well as public apathy to their plight. One of the realities I find quite shocking in a society like ours which prizes the military and the service they give to the nation is that there are far too many veterans in the ranks of the homeless and the marginalized and among those who come to our Soup Kitchen on a regular basis.

So, on this Veterans Day let us not only give thanks for all our veterans who have served their country often in highly stressful and dangerous situations but actually thank a real live veteran whom we know or can identify. But even more importantly let us keep the pressure on members of Congress and others in the political realm to treat our veterans with the respect and support they have earned and that they need.

Bishop Andrew St. John

Bishop Andrew St. John

THE LATEST

Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

LEARN MORE
For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.

Sermons

Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.

History

Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

MUSIC

Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

LEARN MORE
Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.

LEARN MORE
SOCIAL SERVICES

Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.

Classes

Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.

LEARN MORE
Volunteer

Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.

Partner

Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.

Donate

Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

VIEW ALL
Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.

EVENTS

See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.

Newsroom

Holy Apostles in the news.