Footsteps in Faith: Traditions are important

| April 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Theodore P. Valcourt
30th Signal Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade, 311th Sig. Command



Traditions are important because they are a reflection of our beliefs and our connection to our family unit.

During Easter, the Christian celebration of the resurrection, some of us painted hard-boiled eggs, and others bought plastic eggs to prepare for the annual Easter egg hunt.

Some anxious parents flocked to various churches to hear their children recite Easter speeches. Others chose to relive the passion of Christ during Holy Week and Easter, and/or they attended services.

Not everyone celebrates Easter. Many families focus on Passover, the retelling of how God brought the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Reliving this Jewish tradition and eating the Passover Seder meal, a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover, brings families and communities together while focusing on the importance of traditions.

We all have traditions that we hold dear, and practice and thinking about them brings fond memories. The traditions we adopt give meaning and purpose to our lives, as we pass them on to family and friends.

Emotional attachments to these traditions are often formed in our youth, which give them power and keep them alive. However, traditions aren’t exclusive to religious events or ceremonies.

We must not forget that we are constantly developing traditions in our family life that teach values and build solidarity. Eating as a family around the kitchen table, for example, is a tradition. If it is practiced in your home, you can make this a tradition and a habit. Also, family fun night can become a tradition, if it is important to you.

We have the power to create and change traditions through our level of commitment.

Similarly, the military has strong and meaningful traditions that we adopt while serving. One example is calling out your unit motto while saluting. This action does three distinct things: It identifies your unit to the senior ranking person, and it demonstrates your motivation and military bearing.

Another time-honored tradition is calling cadence. This traditional call-and-response singing and rhythmic pattern was designed to help Soldiers run or walk in unison. Many of the cadences are rooted in our history. When we use them, we are able to pass them on to another generation.

Traditions are important and their meanings help to shape and define who we are.

Constantly moving away from our extended families causes some of our traditions to lose that special feeling or importance. But traditions are like habits — if we build them, they can be reoccurring, meaningful and familiar.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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