All too often people see this weekend as the “beginning of summer” – the first backyard cookout of the season, the beginning of families’ summer visits to the shore or the cabin, and for all of our kids Memorial Day weekend is a sign that the school year is nearly at an end. But our enjoyment Memorial day has come at a tremendous cost – our freedoms, our American Liberties, are not free. Just as our adoption as sons and daughters of God came at the cost of Jesus’ death of unconditional love, our American principles were backed by the sacrifices – all too often on the battlefield – of our veterans.
Memorial Day is a time for visiting cemeteries, They are places of quiet but profound witness. The dozens of flags we see waving in the breeze on those hillsides and above those stone monuments are signs that a veteran is buried there. Some of those veterans died in battle: defeating slavery, defending our nation’s orders, defeating fascism and communism and terrorism, and ultimately defending the proposition that we “are endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
On Memorial Day we also visit our other deceased loved ones. They were immigrants who came to this land lured with the promise of roads paved in gold but then realized they would also be filled with hardship and perseverance. On these same roads those immigrants often said farewell to their sons and daughters who would return “home” to fight for other peoples’ liberty and freedom.
This Memorial Day – Monday, May 29 – Holy Mass will be offered at 9:00 am. Please come together that we may pray for the happy rest of our beloved deceased, and let us exercise our gift of the free practice of religion to offer the Sacrifice of Praise in gratitude for the blessings we have in the land of the free and home of the brave.
Fr. Jonathan Sawicki, Pastor