Monday, May 27, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Memorial Day Celebration

O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country.

Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son they may share in the joy of Your heavenly kingdom and rejoice in You with Your saints forever.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

A good reminder from one of our Facebook Friends (Dawn Sansonetti)

Please remember not to wish us a "Happy Memorial Day" as today is not about that.

It's not about honoring or thanking my husband or sons who have served their country. They will be thanked and honored on Veteran's Day.

It's about remembering people like CPL Ken Hess who died in my son's place in Iraq. His mother took the knock that should have been mine.

It's about friends of ours like Andy Weiss and Mike Crockett who left behind wives and children while paying the ultimate sacrifice.

Please remember that this is MEMORIAL Day....not National BBQ Day. Please remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for YOU and ALL Americans.

This Memorial Day Celebration began with Holy Mass at 8:00 in the morning.

This is a great opportunity to offer prayer for our loved ones.

This is a great American day of remembrance and all throughout the Nation, people will be doing all kinds of things.

St. Paul writes, "You know that everyone in Asia deserted me, including Phygeius and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because he often gave me new heart and was not ashamed of my chains. But when he came to Rome, he promptly searched for me and found me. May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know very well the services he rendered in Ephesus" (2 Timothy 1:15-18).

As St. Paul before us, we too can ask the Lord to grant mercy to our loved ones and friends who were so important to us.

This is our hope.

 St Paul writes, "Greetings, Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began, who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior, to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior". (Titus 1:1-4)

General John Logan, the commander of the "Grand Army of the Republic", proclaimed The Memorial Day Holiday on 5 May 1868.

In his General Order No. 11, the original practice and observance (first observed on 30 May 1868) of placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

What a great opportunity to hold fast to American traditions that are wholesome!

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance.

Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.

As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. 

No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

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