Jesus Christ is risen, Alleluia!
Memorial Day is a solemn time to remember the sacrifice of our military men and women and reflect upon our obligation to those who do and have served our country. Our commitment must continue long after high profile conflicts cease.
A “Soldiers Battle” is defined as a hand-to-hand encounter between opposing soldiers with little or no support. Too often today our returning soldiers are left to a ‘Soldiers Battle’ to get the services that they have earned by virtue of their willingness to lay their life on the line for our country, our freedom and our liberty.
A few months ago, I attended a gathering of veterans who shared their stories, and this is some of what they said to one another. The group was a mixture of men and women who had served in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq. They made it clear to that veterans’ issues are our issues as a Country. Sending people into harm’s way carries with it a serious responsibility to support them before, during and after their service. For far too long the true dollar cost of war has been hidden – ignored and shifted to states, communities and worst of all to veterans and their families.
Concerns aside, the clear message from each and every one of them is sense of pride for their role in protecting and preserving the freedom, liberty and safety of the United States. The gathered group also spoke proudly of the service provided by their families; the moms, dads, children, spouses, the ones who wait the ones who worry.
Memorial Day is a day to remember and a day to appreciate those who serve and their families. President Benjamin Harrison noted while it is a day of memory and sadness it is a day to celebrate and commemorate the bravery, strength and pride that fills the hearts of those who serve their country.
“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did. We mourn for them as comrades, who have departed, but we feel the glory of their dying and the glory of their achievement covers all our great country, and has set them in an imperishable roll of honor.“ President Benjamin Harrison Independence Hall Philadelphia Decoration Day May 30, 1891.
Please take some time this weekend with your family and children, as challenging as it may be with social distancing guidelines, to pay tribute to those who have served us and protected our freedom.
As we continued to deal with the pandemic, I continue to look for experiences of inspiration and hope during these most unsettled days! Here is my example this week. Last week in my Friday afternoon email I shared with Brendan O’Riordan singing “Lord of all Hopefulness!” which drew many words of appreciation from many of you, it truly reminded people to remain hope filled! A PS to this story, last Sunday Brendan had some heart problems and landed at Strong Memorial for a day. He is doing OK and the prognosis is positive, please him keep in prayer.
I look forward to the day when we are together again around the Altar.
Please continue to have a grace-filled Easter season. Next Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost, just a reminder to wear some red to Mass.
Jesus Christ is risen today – alleluia!
Let us continue to pray for and take action to bring about peace in our world!
In peace and courage,