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

Giving Thanks and Praying on Memorial Day

When the thoughts of Memorial Day come to mind in recent years, it’s the clip from the great World War II film – Saving Private Ryan, that comes to mind for me. Even now, it gives me a heavy heart (see below). And although it’s just a film, it portrays a little bit of what our soldiers have endured for our country and our way of life.

Today and everyday from here on out, when you see a military veteran or a current active service member, go up to them, shake their hand, and say THANK YOU. They have put their lives on the front lines and continue to do so today, in order that we may live in freedom. Let us pray this day as well as for all of the military men and women who have died defending our country. We must always give thanks to our military men and women.

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As you 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 a good day, but it was only possibly through the service and actions of our fellow citizens who have chosen to serve and defend our country.

If you are looking for 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.

Make sure you watch this clip too!

Giving Thanks and Praying on Memorial Day

When the thoughts of Memorial Day or Veteran’s day come to mind in recent years, it’s the clip from the great World War II film – Saving Private Ryan, that comes to mind. Even watching it now gives me a heavy heart (see below).

Today and everyday from here on out, when you see a military veteran or a current active service member, go up to them, shake their hand, and say THANK YOU. They have put their lives on the front lines and continue to do so today, in order that we may live in freedom.

We must always give thanks and pray for our military men and women. Military life is hard and can make a lasting impression on one’s mind. As you watch the military movies that are playing on television or attending a parade to honor our veterans today, offer up a prayer to those who are with us presently, but also offer up a prayer to those who have fallen and have died for us. For military prayers, see this website. Ask for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George – the Patron Saints of Military Personnel.

Here are some friends of mine that are active military personnel – Mark Bristol, Greg Johnson, Ricky Schumann, John Yorio, and Michael Quigley – Thank You gentlemen for your service and duty to our country.

Marching Military Branches

Georgie Boy!

Today is the feast of St. George, he was martyred (beheaded) somewhere around 303 A.D. at Diospolis in Palestine. His feast day is celebrated today in both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. He was a Christian knight and is known for slaying a dragon with his lance. He is known to be the Patron of Military Personnel and the Protector of England. It is not really known how he became England’s protector but there are a variety of stories. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the feast of St. George was an obligation for Catholics in England. Pope Benedict XVI confirmed him as the Protector of the Kingdom. Prayers and Novenas to St. George can be found here.

St. George is there to remind us that we are all soldiers for Christ. When a person receives the Sacrament of Confirmation, he is fully initiated into the Catholic Church. The Latin word, sacramentum, comes from the initiation oath of soldiers into the Roman Army.  The sacraments, particularly, the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist, initiate us into the Catholic Church. Before Vatican II, when individuals were confirmed, they received a small “slap” on the cheek reminding them they are soldiers who are now ready for spiritual warfare.

In his Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-18, St. Paul states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the Evil One. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”

On a side note – Happy Name Day to Pope Francis! His name Jorge is Spanish for George. Hip Hip Jorge!

Almighty God, who gave to your servant George boldness to Confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

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