Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Father Randy Sly

11/11/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We can live our lives standing for the same principles

They gave their lives for a country who believed that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." We can live our lives standing for the same principles.

Highlights

By Father Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/11/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Veterans Day, Veterans, Military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Military, God, Honor, Country, Fr Randy Sly


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Today is Veterans Day. I am a Vietnam Veteran and this day means a lot to me.

As a young sailor, I still remember landing in Danang, South Vietnam under a rocket attack and then hustling into the receiving area. There, on the floor, were young men of my own age. Many were bandaged, in wheel chairs or on crutches. At that moment war became more than a story I had previously reported as a broadcast journalist; it was real.

Today, I remember my shipmates from the Navy who were a part of our Western Pacific or "WestPac" operations. Our destroyer had been hit once by an enemy rocket but only minor injuries. I had not yet reported aboard when it happened but the stories were still being told.

I remember classmates from high school and college who also served. Some never came back; others came back but were never the same.

I remember my father, a World War II veteran, who told me stories of flying into war-torn Europe and being a test pilot for fighters and bombers that were destined for the front lines.

Most of all, I think of the blood red sacrifices that were made on behalf of our country in many wars. Their lives are remembered in graveyards across our nation, at Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields near where I live, and at national cemeteries like Arlington, Punchbowl in Hawaii and Normandy, France that I have visited.

As a Fourth Degree Knight and Past Faithful Navigator, patriotism has become more alive to me in recent years. We have seen the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem and other symbols of our country abused by dissidents and, more sadly, discounted by rank and file Americans. As Catholics we must especially remember that our "One Nation Under God," not only needs our commitment but also our Catholic Conscience.

America needs Catholics, faithful to the teachings of the Church, who will vote their values, communicate their values and live out their values. America needs Catholics who pray for her leaders and work to protect the life, family, freedom while maintaining a solidarity with the poor and downtrodden.

Years ago, when I was Faithful Navigator for our Assembly, I sent the following to our Sir Knights on Veterans Day. I share it with all our readers today:

"On June 28, 1919 the treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I. However, an armistice had been reached seven months earlier and fighting actually ceased at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.

"Beginning the following year, November 11 was known as "Armistice Day." President Woodrow Wilson established the day by saying, ""To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."

"On May 13, 1938 November 11th was declared a legal holiday by Congress to remember the cessation of fighting and those who had served in 'The Great War.'

"It was in 1953 that Alfred King, the owner of a shoe store in Emporia Kansas and World War II veteran, had the idea of expanding Armistice Day to include veterans of all wars. He presented the idea to the Emporia Chamber of Commerce and quickly all businesses in the town supported the concept and closed on November 11th in honor of veterans. The town's Board of Education also agreed, closing school.

"U.S. Representative Ed Rees, who represented the area took King's idea to Congress and proposed a bill making November 11 Veterans Day. With the help of then-U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.

"In 1971 the U.S. tried to turn Veterans Day into a movable holiday to provide a three-day weekend. This ended up in a lot of confusion and frustration. Then, on September 20, 1975 President Gerald R. Ford returned Veterans Day to it proper place on November 11.

"Today we honor all the men and women who have served their country in all branches of the Armed Services. As Fourth Degree Knights, this is a great time to renew our commitment as Catholic Patriots. At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington in May of 2009, Archbishop Raymond Burke stated:

"'Before the fundamental and great challenges which we as a nation are facing, how better to express our patriotism than by celebrating the teachings of our Catholic faith. The most treasured gift which we as citizens of the United States of America can offer to our country is a faithful Catholic life.

"'It is the gift which, even though it has often been misunderstood, has brought great strength to our nation, from the time of its founding. Today more than ever, our nation is in need of Catholics who know their faith deeply and express their faith, with integrity, by their daily living.'"

As a Vietnam Veteran (USNR) and Past Faithful Navigator, I want to say to all the veterans - thank you and God bless you!

As Catholics, I want to challenge us to live out our faith to the fullest of our ability as God gives us strength, for His glory, the good of our Church and the good of our country. Those who died should not have died in vain.

They gave their lives for a country who believed that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." We can live our lives standing for the same principles.

-----
Father Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and a priest with the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (http://usordinariate.org) established by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, through the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. He is currently the chaplain of the St. John Fisher Ordinariate Community, a priest in residence at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church and Director of Pro-Life Activities for the Ordinariate. He is a popular speaker for parishes, apostolates and organizations.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholics Come Home Launches Beautiful New Television Series for E.W.T.N. Watch

Image of Tom Peterson, the founder and CEO of Catholics Come Home

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I am happy to report to my readers that Catholics Come Home has produced a stunning and inspiring television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (E.W.T.N.). It began airing on Labor Day weekend. The series was filmed on location in various cities ... continue reading


Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter