FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS)-In honor of Veterans Day coming this Sunday, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary recognized those formerly or currently serving in the United States Armed Forces during the prayer time of its chapel service, Nov. 8.

“There is a considerable sacrifice that each of these men and women made, who served in a combat area, whether they experienced something very close at hand or not. To every one of them we ought to be forever thankful and grateful,” said Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary.

Patterson invited veterans and active members of the military to come to the front of the chapel for prayer. The area in front of the stage overflowed with faculty, staff and students, some in uniform. Rick Williams, second lieutenant chaplain candidate in the United States Air Force Reserve and master’s student at Southwestern, offered the prayer. He thanked God for the brave service of veterans and prayed for protection over those currently serving overseas, including chaplains.

Southwestern prays often for our military. John Laing, assistant professor of systematic theology and philosophy at the Havard Campus in Houston, Texas, recently returned from an 18 month deployment to Kosovo, where he served both as a chaplain to soldiers and as a religious liaison between the U.S. Army and local Muslim and Orthodox religious leaders. David Allen, dean of the School of Theology and professor of preaching, has a son who formerly served in Iraq. In addition, many students and faculty have served in the military or have relatives who have.

Armistice Day was originally set as a U.S. holiday in honor of the end of World War I, which took place on Nov. 11, 1918. U.S. President Eisenhower signed legislation on June 1, 1954, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, in order to honor American veterans of all wars for their sacrificial service to the United States military.