From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy

This past Friday we celebrated Veterans Day. At this time we remember our men and women who served in the military and who sacrificed so much thorough their dedicated commitment to our country.  Many of our Veterans served in Vietnam or in other foreign lands, or here in the United States. Many others have recently returned home from their tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and have left active military service. In our local area, the Johns Creek Veterans Association arranged for the construction of the Johns Creek Memorial Walk.  The Memorial serves as a vivid and sobering reminder of the contributions to the defense of our nation made by our men and women in the armed forces throughout the years. Members of the Saint Brigid Knights of Columbus, many of whom are Veterans, assisted in the construction of the Memorial.

Archbishop for the Military Services, U.S.A., Timothy Broglio, recently offered his thoughts and prayers for our military Veterans.  He stated, “We enjoy great freedoms in the United States. Let us never forget the men and women who have laid their lives on the line to defend and protect our precious liberties.  The annual celebration of Veterans Day invites us to remember those killed in the line of duty, those still suffering the effects of their generous response in times of national need, and, of course, everyone who has retired from active duty.  We cannot forget the sacrifices of so many.  We sense an obligation to express our gratitude, and we certainly remember them in our prayers.”  As we reflect on these words, we should also remember the great sacrifices made by military chaplains who are Veterans and who have faithfully served the spiritual needs of our men and women in the armed forces and their families.

According to government statistics, and as previously reported, there are more than twenty million military Veterans in the United States.  Most of us have loved ones who have served our country well and now have Veteran status.  Whether our Veterans served at home or abroad, we should not allow their service to be ignored or minimized, or their sacrifice taken for granted.  As our Veterans adapt to civilian life, we pray that our Veterans Administration hospitals and treatment centers will continue to strive to make necessary improvements in order to provide appropriate on going care for Veterans in need.

As we remember our family members, relatives, friends and neighbors who have unselfishly served our nation in the armed forces, we are encouraged to honor them by assuring them of our prayers, our gratitude and our respect.  A grateful nation appreciates their service.

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