May 25

Memorial Day

Reflection

On this Memorial Day
Grant peace to the souls
Of all those soldiers who died in war.
We remember the tears and grief of their families,
The pain of mother, wives, husbands and children
Who lost precious loved ones.
To build a meaningful memorial to them,
We ask God to give us all the will
To work for peace around the world
So no more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, nor
mothers
Are slaughtered by the guns and bombs of war.
Education for Justice

Prayer

O Lord, lead us with our sister nations into a world of unity that will create real peace. Comfort those who have lost their loved ones in war.

Action

This day remember all those who have lost their lives in war. Hold them and those they left behind in gratitude and continue to grieve their dying. Continue your efforts to live nonviolently and to promote and support nonviolent solutions to differences. Do not buy products or support entertainment that fosters violence.

Suggested Reading

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Matthew 26:52

The dread image of war overshadows the world, and absorbs nearly every thought. The strongest and wealthiest nations are in conflict. What wonder, then, that, furnished as they are with the latest weapons devised by military science, their struggle is causing enormous slaughter….Who would think that the nations, thus armed against each other, are all descended from one ancestor, share the same nature, belong to the same human family? Who would realize that they are brethren, children of the same Father in heaven? And while the mighty hosts are contending in the fury of combat, cities, families, individuals are being oppressed by those evils and miseries which follow at the heels of war; day by day the numbers increase of widows and orphans; the paths of commerce are blocked; the fields are left untilled; the arts are at a standstill; the rich are made poor, the poor are made destitute, all are made to mourn.
Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimum, November 1, 1914

The goal of peace, so desired by everyone, will certainly be achieved through the putting into effect of social and international justice, but also through the practice of the virtues which favor togetherness and which teach us to live in unity.Peace does not consist merely in the absence of war, but rather in sharing the goodness of life together. In keeping with Pope John Paul’s teaching, the Church’s positive vision of a peaceful world includes the primacy of the global common good for political life, the role of social and economic development in securing the conditions for a just and lasting peace, and the moral imperative solidarity between affluent, industrial nations and poor, developing
ones.
The Harvest of Justice Is Sown in Peace, US Catholic Bishop 1993

According to tradition this is a day to remember those who have fallen in US wars. The stated goals of these wars were peace, democracy, freedom and justice. But what has really happened? In spite of all the wars that have taken thousands of our soldiers and millions of innocents, especially children, the world is still at war and people everywhere suffer unjust political systems where there is no freedom.
Why has all this blood been spilled? To show us that war is not the way to the noble ideals for which many have died. On this day i invite you to reflect on how to honor these lost souls by working through non-violence for real peace and justice.
Fernando Suarez del Solar

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today, we pause to remember our fallen troops, to mourn their loss, and to pray for their loved ones. Though our hearts ache, we find a measure of solace in knowing their legacy lives on in the families our heroes left behind — the proud parents who instilled in their sons and daughters the values that led them to serve; the remarkable spouses who gave our Nation the person they cherished most in the world; and the beautiful children who will grow up with the knowledge that their mother or father embodied the true meaning of patriotism. To those we lost, we owe a profound debt that can never be fully repaid. But we can honor the fallen by caring for their loved ones and keeping faith with our veterans and their fellow brothers and sisters in arms.
The security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, the freedom that we cherish — these were earned by the blood and the sacrifices of patriots who went before. This Memorial Day, as we near the end of more than a decade of war, let us never forget their service and always be worthy of the sacrifices made in our name. And today and every day, let us pray for and hold close the families of the fallen.
Barack Obama 2014

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