Reflections for Memorial Day

The Catholic Review in the Archdiocese of Baltimore this week published an exploration of the origins of Memorial Day that may be worth reading this holiday weekend.

Flowers and flags decorate the grave of U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy at Calverton National Cemetery in Calverton, N.Y., in 2006. Murphy was killed during a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan in 2005. (CNS file/Gregory A. Shemitz)Also marking the holiday, Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit issued the following Memorial Day prayer: “We remember all those who courageously gave their lives for the cause of freedom. In union with people of goodwill of every nation, may we all work for peace and justice, and thus, seek to end violence and conflict anywhere around the globe. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.” And the archdiocese posted on its Web site, which it shares with The Michigan Catholic archdiocesan newspaper, the famous war poem “In Flanders Fields.”

Not exactly related to Memorial Day, but still on the subject of soldiers making sacrifices for their country, is a story earlier this month in The Catholic Spirit in St. Paul, Minn., about a new ministry offered by a retired Air Force lieutenant colo­nel for military veterans and their families seeking to discover or rediscover God in their lives.

One Response

  1. Memorial Day Sonnet

    If Liberty means anything to me,
    I will remember what my freedom cost,
    By those who gave their all to keep me free,
    Whose lives were sacrificed, but never lost.
    I will remind myself of what they did,
    And keep them dearly cherished in my heart;
    Their honor never from me shall be hid
    And I will know they always did their part
    To save our nation and its people here,
    To pledge their lives in defense of our ways,
    To show that freedom always outlives fear,
    And sacrifice is hallowed all our days.
    If Liberty means anything to me,
    I will remember those who kept me free.

    © John Stuart 2008
    Pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church,
    Knoxville, Tennessee

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