This post is dedicated to all our military heroes -- especially those in my own family -- my dad, my brother, Michael, my sister, Susan, and my brother-in-law, Heinz. Thank you for your service!
Poem: "These Heroes All" by Kelly Kirkpatrick
Standing guard o'ver Heaven's bounds, to duty called by God,
Harkening when the trumpets sound Saint Michael's call aloud,
Is a holy, brave brigade of men and women bold,
Though their earthly life they've paid, o'er none has death a hold.
Heroes all, in virtue steeped, immune to evil's touch,
They now with angels vigil keep and still watch over us.
Partnered with Almighty God, alive for evermore,
Members of His Honor Squad and free on wings to soar.
Each fell in bloody battle hard that we might e'er live free,
Sacrificed on razored shards of cruel destiny.
Let not the banner they held proud, their caskets now which grace,
Lie in tatters as a shroud: forgotten, soiled, disgraced.
Raise it high and in their names join those who carry on,
Those still battling Satan's flames, their numbers few but strong.
Keep alive their legacy as they would wish it done,
Their sacrifice to keep us free uniting us as one.
Fight on for them, these heroes all, and with each setting sun,
Pray for those who still stand tall and from no evil run.
Remember as Taps softly plays and peaceful evening comes,
The price so many dearly paid, as many will to come.
Let we for whom they shed their blood e'er hold their memory dear,
Champion well their fight for good and keep them ever near,
Comfort those who brave their tears, protect their sacred cause,
In their darkest hours draw near and to their foes give pause.
Each time a comrade in their ranks is torn from earth's safe keep,
Pay full your debt of lasting thanks as for each loss they weep.
And for the soldiers left behind to carry bravely on,
Let us honor each in kind until the final down,
Until the fight in victory ends and they may finally rest,
To each your sworn support extend: these finest, bravest, best.
A Prayer for Memorial Day
Remember, Lord, the fallen
Who died in fields of war,
In flaming clouds,
in screaming crowds,
On streets that are no more,
That we today might waken
And greet this day in peace
With grateful prayer for those who bear
The storms that never cease.
Remember friends and strangers,
And those forgotten now,
Whose names are known to you alone,
Before whose love we bow
And ask that you surround them
With mercy’s endless light
That they may live,
and we forgive
The foe they went to fight.
Remember, Lord, the living,
Who bear the pain of loss-
A death she died who stood beside
Her Son upon the cross.
Remember all your children
The dead and those who weep,
And make us one beneath the sun
Where love will never sleep.
Text: 7686D; Genevieve Glen, OSB; © 2005, Abbey of St. Walburga, Virginia Dale, CO. Published by OCP Publications.