Throughout our nation’s history, the men and women who serve in our nation’s military have been the first to head into danger to protect those at home. In the Gospel, we read that “Greater love hath no man than this, than to lie down his life for his friends” – surely, a fitting testament to the love and sacrifice of countrymen, neighbors, and family members who are remembered on this Memorial Day.
On this day, we especially remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Since 2001, 6,809 members of our military have been killed in active war zones, leaving 6,809 families back home with a permanent scar that will never fully heal. While Memorial Day is a worthwhile day of remembrance and gratitude, we should not let it be the extent of our support for those left behind. One day a year is not sufficient to express our gratitude or go out of our way to support the families impacted, but it can be a start of a commitment to remember and address the unique needs of the ones who have protected us, as well as their families.
The Catholic Charities network is committed to standing beside the veterans and families of those who served, especially the loved ones of those who never returned home. This Memorial Day, we pray in remembrance and gratitude for all those who laid down their lives to protect our nation. Their dedication to our nation and sacrifice on our behalf can never be fully repaid.