Bishop’s aspiration at a 2020 Salute to Veterans online event

Aspiration by Bishop Eric Matsumoto
Salute to Veterans event organized by the Wahiawa Lions Club
Presented on Zoom, November 10, 2020

ANNOUNCER: And now, ladies and gentlemen, we begin our salute. Bishop Eric Matsumoto of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii will offer a special tribute for the veterans.

BISHOP MATSUMOTO: At times, words alone cannot fully convey the depth of our thoughts and feelings. Today, or tomorrow rather, Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, past and present, for their loyalty, dedication, sacrifice, and commitment to protect our nation, including values like democracy, freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness, to name a few, is such a time.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are not able to gather physically in large numbers this year in order to honor our veterans, but may they and their families know that it does not lessen our gratitude and appreciation.

In the Buddhist Tradition, there is an expression “Knowing Gratitude, Respond in Gratitude” in which gratitude felt by one toward another is shared with all others. True Gratitude is much more than just a feeling or emotion. True Gratitude is inspirational. It is motivational. It not only touches the heart-and-mind, but moves the heart, mind and body to share appreciation and kindness with others. Thus, ever enlarging the circle of joy and gratitude.

Therefore, as we pay tribute to our veterans and their families and express our gratitude to them, may we endeavor for world peace and more harmony in the world. May the wisdom of interdependence that one is all and all is one guide us. May mutual respect amongst and for all people of all lands and nations prevail, so our lives can be filled with peace and harmony. A simple truth is that we all want to be happy and safe.

Once again, to our beloved veterans and their families, for protecting us and our values, thank you, and may you and your loved ones be safe and well during this pandemic and always!

Namo Amida Butsu/Entrusing in All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion. Namo Amida Butsu, Namo Amida Butsu

Bishop Eric Matsumoto in ministerial vestments (small thumbnail image)Reverend Eric Matsumoto is the 16th bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.