From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
This Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. On this day, we remember in a special way those men and women in the armed forces who have made the supreme sacrifice in defense of our nation. We pray for the repose of their souls, and for the consolation of those who mourn their passing from this world. Some were drafted into military service while others volunteered. Many of them died in wars, in police actions, or in terrorist attacks. They died in places named Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, and Beirut, and Inchon, and Saigon, and Khafji, and Kabul. They sacrificed their lives and their freedom and made it possible for us to enjoy our lives and our freedom. They were prematurely separated from family members and friends, and a grateful nation pays them homage and respect.
A recent article concerning this day indicated that Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday is celebrated each year on the final Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and was originated to commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in military service.
This Monday as we make time for picnics and relaxation, we are invited to also make time for prayer. We can join the multitude of people who pray for the repose of the souls of these men and women who have gone before us and for the consolation of their family members and friends.
The following is an excerpt from a prayer for Memorial Day that was prepared by a Christian woman, Mary Fairchild:
“Dear Heavenly Father:
As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day”… “Please hold our service men and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.
We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.
May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.”