Remembering what Memorial Day is all about

Today here in the United States of America, we commemorate Memorial Day – the day we remember all those who gave their lives defending our freedom while serving in our armed forces. In the FoxNews article, SEAL who shot bin Laden: Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day, the author says,

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid. Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.

For me, today is a little more real than in years past since I have gotten to know some real good men and women at my parish who have served in our military. I have also started to support a company, while drinking coffee, that was founded by a veteran and employs many veterans. This company is known as Black Rifle Coffee Company. If you drink coffee and want to support our veterans, I would encourage you to check out this growing company. The video below is produced by them, and titled – Never Forgotten.

Ever since writing an article back on this day in 2013, every time I see a military veteran (usually wearing a hat or shirt saying when or where they served) or a current active service member of any branch of the military, I go up to them, shake their hand, and say Thank you for serving our country. At first this was hard to do, but I once I did it a few times, it became easier. I think we all need to do this for those who have served or currently serve in the armed forces. We have the freedoms we do because brave men and women decided to put their lives on the line and defend this country. This day and everyday, let us pray for all of the military men and women who have died defending our country.

As we watch the military movies that are playing on television today, grilling burgers and dogs, drinking a beer, and enjoying this day off, just remember Why you have this day off and to offer up a prayer to those who have fallen and have died for us. Today is only possibly through the service and actions of our fellow citizens who have chosen to serve, fight, and defend our country.

If you are looking for specific military prayers, you will find them on this website. Ask for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George – the Patron Saints of Military Personnel.

And, make sure you watch this short video from Black Rifle Coffee Company

Pray for Our Veterans 2016

On this day, November 11, let us remember the brave men and women that have served our country and who have given us the freedoms we love so very much. Let us always pray that these freedoms will continue in our country for generations to come. Thank you for all you that done for me personally and my many family and friends. It has become a mission of mine to thank every veteran I meet on the street or driving in the car. If you own a US flag, proudly display it on your home today.

We should also pray for those men and women currently serving in our Armed Forces, either here on US soil or abroad in a foreign country. Lord Jesus Christ, please watch over them and keep them all safe. They have given their lives to protect and defend this great nation – they deserve our respect, loyal, and prayers.

Yesterday, was the 241st Anniversary of the U.S. Marines. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.”

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President Ronald Reagan’s speech on Veterans Day from 1985.

If you can, please support the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Here are Knights of Columbus Veterans pages – Serving Those Who Served, Military Knights, Serving Veterans, and History of Serving those who Served.

Check out the Lt. Dan Band and Gary Sinise’s Foundation that helps Wounded Warriors.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we give you praise and thanksgiving for our veterans in our communities and around the world who have bravely served to protect us from harm. Be with them this day and protect them. We ask Our Blessed Mother to always be their Mother ready to protect them as well. For those who have given their lives, we ask that their families are healed and protected from any harm. Amen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint George, and Saint Joan of Arc…Pray for our veterans, all military personnel, and for us. 

Marching Military Branches

Pray for Our Veterans

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On this day, November 11, let us remember the brave men and women that have served our country and have given us the freedoms we love so very much. Let us pray that these freedoms will continue in our country. We also pray for those men and women currently serving in our Armed Forces, either here or abroad. Lord Jesus Christ, please watch over them and keep them all safe.

Yesterday, was the anniversary of the U.S. Marines. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.”

Here is one of President Reagen’s speeches on Veterans Day.

Check out the Lt. Dan Band and Gary Sinise’s Foundation that helps Wounded Warriors.

Remembering September 11, 2001 – A Day I Will Never Forget

On September 4, 2001, I began work at a new sales position after working as a youth minister for two years. I remember being excited for this new position since the majority of our clients and potential clients were based out of New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other East Coast cities. I had lots to learn and needed to get to know the clients quickly. One week later, my life, the lives of every American, and lives of many across the globe would change forever. It was September 11, 2001, a day that will remain burned in the memories of all who lived through it.

For me, it was an average day. I woke up early, ate breakfast, and got dressed for work. As I got into my Jeep Wrangler and started the engine, my radio came on. It was tuned into 107.9 FM KMLE Country.  Immediately, I heard the disc jockey’s talking about a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers. At first, I thought it was a prank since a week before someone had flown a powered parachute onto the Statue of Liberty (Do you remember that?). Then the DJ’s were saying that a “small” plane hit the tower. It wasn’t but 60 seconds later that they said it was a large commercial airline and a potential act of terrorism. I was in complete shock!

As I continued to drive to work, I listened in carefully to what was being reported on the radio, by this time they switched over to one of the major news stations carrying the breaking news. I will never forget it. It was the creepiest feeling I had ever felt. Sitting at one stoplight after another and looking at other people in the cars around me as they listened in as well.  It was surreal!

I walked into the office. My boss and another co-worker were in shock. The co-worker was from the East Coast originally, New York City actually. She called her family back there but was having a hard time getting through. My bosses’ brother walked in with a small television a few minutes later. I remember the four of us huddled around this 13-inch television watching it all unfold. As I walked away for just a moment, my bosses’ brother yelled, “Oh No!” The first tower began to fall. It was terrifying! I walked outside and called my parents. They were as numb as the rest of us. Then, the second tower fell. Minutes later, the news reported that the Pentagon was hit. What was going on?!

My boss told us to take part of the day off and go to our respective churches to pray, if we so desired. I drove down to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church where I attended Mass with the entire elementary school and staff along with others that came to the church to pray. The priest who celebrated Mass told us all to pray and to pray hard. Again, it was surreal. Before going back to work, I stopped off at home. I remember being sick to my stomach. For the rest of the day, we sat there and watched in horror. How could this happen?

9-11 Cover Photo

During the day, I received an email from my friends Chris and Kristin who were going to hold a prayer service for our group of friends at their house that night. My friend Sean and I drove up to their house where there were at least 20 of our friends gathered. The television was on and all we did was watch the towers fall again. There were no words for it! I remember being just numb and thinking how evil it all seemed. The one way to fight evil was to pray.

We began by praying the Rosary, then a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and then we read from the Bible and offered up prayers for the victims and their families. What was it like to be on those planes? What was like to see those planes flying at the buildings? As we continued our prayers, some began to weep for fear of more to come.

As Sean and I drove back to my place, we looked up in the sky and did not see one airplane flying overhead. The freeway we were traveling on lines up with some of the flight patterns for Sky Harbor Airport. We didn’t see airplanes because the FAA grounded all flights around the country. Many people were stranded for days in cities that were not their own. Do you remember that?

I went to bed that night very late since I could not sleep. I knew that the world had changed that day. Evil, in the form of extreme Islamic terrorists, had made itself known to the United States on our soil. The War on Terror was not far off. It was so disheartening.

It’s a day that I will never forget.

On this day, the twelfth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, let us never forget what happened this day. Let us keep their memories in our hearts forever. We especially pray for the souls of the emergency response teams that bravely entered the towers not knowing what their fate would be in the end. During your day today, offer up prayers for the souls that were lost, the families that lost a loved one, and for the continued safety of New York City and the entire country.

WE REMEMBER!