Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Father Randy Sly

11/12/2012 (2 years 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)

11/12/2012 (2 years 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 established by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, through the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus."

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

The Catholic University of America anticipates Pope Francis' visit Watch

Image of The Catholic University of America eagerly awaits the arrival of Pope Francis to Washington, D.C.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic University of America is full of enthusiastic and hopeful spirits as the papal visit to Washington D.C. comes closer.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - In about three weeks, Pope Francis will be celebrating faith with the students, causing ... continue reading


Prosecutors seek death penalty for Charleston church shooter Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Prosecutors decided to pursue the death penalty for the 21-year-old Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof, The Daily Mail reported.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - On the court documents filed last Thursday, prosecutors stated that they ... continue reading


ATHEISTS LOSE: A big win for religion as Big Mountain Jesus remains Watch

Image of Big Mountain Jesus statue looks upon the earth.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Atheist activists lost a years-long battle this week over the "Big Mountain Jesus statue," which has been standing for over 60 years on public land near the Big Mountain ski resort in Montana. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The statue was made to ... continue reading


Excitement builds with massive mural of Pope Francis before his midtown Manhattan visit Watch

Image of Commissioned by DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the mural is drawing positive attention to the pending papal visit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Excitement is building in New York City with the visit of Pope Francis this September 24. A massive, hand-painted mural, 225-feet tall has been placed in midtown Manhattan at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, close to Madison Square Garden, where the ... continue reading


Five Chinese warships sail near Alaskan coast during Obama's visit Watch

Image of The nation of China has increased defense spending to modernize its forces. China is set to hold a massive military parade this week featuring some 12,000 troops this week, marking the 70 years since World War II ended in Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unnamed defense officials have identified a Chinese amphibious ship, a replenishment vessel and three surface combatant ships - altogether five Chinese warships in the Bering Sea off Alaska. The ships were sighted during U.S. President Barack Obama's three-day ... continue reading


Immigrants on welfare: Relevant factors often ignored Watch

Image of Workers harvest plants.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Center of Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration, released a report showing 51 percent of immigrant-led households receive some kind of welfare benefit. Benefits include Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance ... continue reading


Pope Francis to give United States Mass in Spanish Watch

Image of Pope Francis to deliver Washington Mass in Spanish.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Donald William Wuerl has announced Pope Francis' decision to give his Washington Mass on September 23 in Spanish. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It's a recognition of how large the Hispanic population in the United States is," Wuerl said. "And he's ... continue reading


Obama gets votes to protect Iran nuclear deal Watch

Image of Barbara Mikulski becomes the 34th vote for the nuclear deal.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nuclear deal between the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia, Germany and Iran has been under intense scrutiny from Republicans and some Democrats, however Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski has agreed to pledge support. Mikulski's support means ... continue reading


Pope Francis asks American teenager to sing for him Watch

Image of Valerie Herrera sings

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

17-year-old Valerie Herrera, a senior at Cristo Bey Jesuit High School, was asked by Pope Francis to sing a song. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Americans were invited to a virtual meeting with Pope Francis via satellite, which was moderated from inside the ... continue reading


Making the punishment fit the crime - Ohio judge doles out unusual sentences Watch

Image of Judge Michael Cicconetti's type of justice seems to be working, as only 10 percent of those who complete the judge's unusual sentences wind up in court a second time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Making the punishment fit the crime seems to be the method behind Judge Michael Cicconetti's madness. The Ohio judge metes out unusual sentences in lieu of hefty fines and jail time. It must be working, as those sentenced to perform the unlikely, court-mandated ... 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, Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:33-39
33 They then said to him, 'John's disciples are ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 4th, 2015 Image

St. Rosalia
September 4: St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, ... 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