Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Father Randy Sly

11/11/2013 (5 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.

Article Highlights

By Father Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/11/2013 (5 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 calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Live the Easter Way! The Holy Spirit which Transformed the Early Church Enlists Us! Watch

Image of Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminates the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I just watched Pope Francis preside at the Easter Vigil at the Basilica of St Peter. His homily on encountering Jesus and finding our own Galilee was beautiful. Now, I am about to depart for the Easter Vigil at my parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. I will greet the ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: God has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles with Fear Watch

Image of Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Finally Justice! Small town city manager gets 12 years in jail on corruption charges Watch

Image of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo's party came crashing down when it was revealed in 2010 that Rizzo was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bell, California is a small town with less than 36,000 people. That didn't stop City Manager Robert Rizzo, along with his friends, from awarding themselves hefty raises and drawing yearly salaries as high as $1.5 million. It was fun while it lasted - now Rizzo ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... 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, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... 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