“When our perils are past,
shall our gratitude sleep?”
Today marks the day when our nation pays tribute to all military personnel (active, retired, living and deceased) for their loyal service to our country. Unlike Memorial Day, which remembers America’s war dead, Veterans Day honors those who are still with us.
So it is a privilege to be able to personally thank these men and women for their sacrifices and for the gift of freedom we enjoy. It is for this reason that St. Mary’s held its annual ceremony to honor its veteran Residents and to let them know that they are deeply appreciated.
The event commenced invoking the Lord to help “those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred with war, whose nights are haunted by memories, too painful for the light of day and those who serve us now, especially those in harm’s way: to shield them and bring them home.”
Then the veterans who gathered at the front of the auditorium took a turn at the microphone to announce their branches of service, duties and respective wars. They shared their stories and also answered questions from the audience. We sung military and patriotic songs. And Brother Raphael, our most decorated veteran, concluded with the final prayer.
During the reception, the veterans who brought along their prized medals shared more stories with the other Residents, volunteers and staff.
The Residents are proud of their country as we are proud of our veterans!
Photos (top to bottom)
Photo 1:Representing Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Reserves serving in Word War II, Korea, and Viet Nam.
Photo 2: Ann Young has the double distinction of being St. Mary’s only female veteran and the oldest at 99 ½ years of age.
Photo 3: Mr. Briggs, a former private in the Army’s 93rd Infantry Division, shows some of his medals including his three bronze stars to Nurse Kathy Griep.
Photo 4:Will Armstrong, served in the Air Force Reserve for 11 years, poses with his keepsake red, white and blue lei.