“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
A few years ago I received an email from one of my brother friars. I thought would post its content again. The email raised the question – in the light of all the commercial sales and advertisements: Is Veterans Day really a holiday or is it a holy day?
It’s a holy day when we reflect on the many women and men who serve in the military and put their own lives in danger for the freedom we enjoy.
It’s a holy day when we stop our daily life routines to celebrate at a parade, pause our businesses and close our schools to show joy and respect for what our veterans have done for us and our nation, for the rights and freedoms that they have won and protected through all these years.
It’s a holy day when we remember and give thanks to God for our veterans who have returned safely from areas of conflict and war.
It’s a holy day when we stop everything we are doing and consider what government and military benefits, or lack thereof, our veterans who are returning from service find here at home.
It’s a holy day when we feel the pain of guilt and experience the sadness for those veterans who are homeless, disabled from combat wounds, affected by mental, emotional and spiritual agonies and are left alone in their suffering.
It’s a holy day when we mourn our own selfishness for forgetting to thank and be ever grateful to those veterans who have served our country yet feel unappreciated, lonely and forgotten.
To all veterans, today and every day, we say thank you for protecting us and keeping us safe. We bless you, pray for you and pledge to never forget the sacrifices you have made for our country and for us.
Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Holy Name Province – Franciscan Friars
Office of Development