Each year this Veteran's Day becomes more emotional for me. This year I reunited with an Infantry colleague from 20 years ago on a project for our current employer, and he had sad news to share. He spent some time going back and looking for soldiers we worked with in our first few years in the Army, and found many of them on the casualty roles in the since 2001. He shared a name, and I remembered the face and a story. I myself often did the same thing, and had only found a few of my old soldiers or comrades in the casualty roles. The number of names my friend found though, staggered me.
Over the weekend my family participated in a Knights of Columbus Patriotic Rosary filled with invocations by our founders on the need to follow the guidance of the Christian God (or as some called him Nature's God). It was so powerful my ten year old son came home wanting to say that forty five minute rosary every week for our nation.
Yesterday we held a brief Remembrance Ceremony during mass, just seven minutes. We Knights of Columbus provided an honor guard as the roll of Georgia veterans who lost their lives in the last year blended with taps. We closed with bagpipes playing as the poem of why remember the fallen from World War I filled the hall. I barely kept it together as I stood at attention rendering an honorable salute with my sabre. I know I saw a lot of handkerchiefs out afterwards, so I know it was not just me being sentimental.
What made this even more stinging right now was the insanity I see around me, with national core beliefs being challenged with a fervor that can only be fueled by the great enemy of all mankind.
Sitting in our Supreme Court is a challenge to opening civic meetings with a prayer from New York brought forward by two atheists. Every meeting of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, the U.S. Congress , Supreme Court and Presidential Inauguration stated with a prayer! That is over 240 years of prayer invoking God to raise us above narcissistic selves to achieve a higher calling for all of mankind through faith, hope and charitas! How this even has grounds in the court is a tribute to people not reading the Founding Fathers. Time after time they found historical examples of leaders thinking they knew the answers, and trying to rewrite natural law to create failed nations.
Can you imagine priests being threatened if they serve their God by offering the sacrifice of mass? That happened this year! Practicing Catholics and religious people being forced to pay for abortion! That happened this year! these are not alarmist stories. These happened, documented six ways to Saturday, and twice on Sunday.
So on this day taps meant a lot more to me than every before. I've seen these evils coming for a long time, and today as they wrap themselves in the law of the land around me I have to question the implications they have on everything I do.
I know a soldier fights on the field of battle for his buddies on his right and left....but what are they enlisting for? What are they keeping up? Is it anything that resembles what those intrepid souls stood up for in the previous centuries? Or I have to ask, was this taps being sounded for a lot more than a few men....but as a warning to the soul of our nation? I fear the latter was why my tears were so plentiful this year.
PS The photo above was scanned from my analog files. Taken in 1994 in Luxembourg American Cemetery with a Canon Rebel on that thing called film.