Veterans & Remembrance

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kimberly says:

    God bless our men and women who serve. We need to remember that freedom is not free.

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    They are there for us 24/7/365 regardless of the conditions or political climate. We owe them for our freedom. God Bless and keep them.

  3. onesheep says:

    And their families, who also make sacrifices and do everything they can to help those who serve do so with as much peace of mind as possible. We owe them all. God Bless them.

  4. pyrosapien says:

    Everybody knows at least one veteran. Make a point to call them, text them, email them, or visit them today. Really go to them and personally tell them thank you and Happy Veteran’s Day. It means more to them then you know, it will even mean more to them then they think it would. Especially if nobody has personally and sincerely thanked them before.


    FT1/SS USN ’87-’95

  5. Mike Morrow says:

    Not many U.S. citizens were wishing their servicemen well during the Cold War, the Vietnam War, or the Korean War. That’s when it would have meant the most, and when it was most needed. The Korean War servicemen and veterans above all were especially neglected and ignored. I never fail to thank a veteran of that war when I meet one. I’m happy that most Americans today appear better to appreciate their active duty servicemen, even while showing just a pretense of appreciation for veterans.

    Veterans Day has its roots in the World War I Armistice Day. Although they’re all gone now, those veterans are little remembered, their sacrifices little regarded. What U.S. adult knows today, what school child hears today, of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that ended the war? Those six weeks left more than 26,000 Americans dead, and more than another 95,000 Americans wounded. It is yet today the most costly campaign in all of U.S. military history. Who remembers these, who had no Tom Hanks to play their part in Hollywood and on TV, on the anniversary of the end of their war?

  6. ejcmartin says:

    Remembering today my Great Uncles Lt. Samuel Parsons KIA April 9, 1917 and Captain Cyril Parsons KIA March 28, 1918 both serving in the British Army during the Great War. Also remembering my wife’s Great-Grandfather Brigadier General Alan McBride US Army who died while a prisoner of war in the Pacific 1945. And to those who came back, changed forever, my Grandfather Lt. N. C. Parsons (WWI & II), the Rae brothers from Aberdeen (WWI), Sgt. Kortmund US Army (WWI) and Andy McBride US Army (WWII). Finally to the boys and men from Newfoundland Regiment who paid the supreme sacrifice in the Great War.

  7. Agnes says:

    A wonderful homily from Fr. McC this morning about 4 chaplains – a priest, a rabbi, and two Protestant ministers – aboard a torpedoed ship. They saw four of their sailors without life preservers and, without hesitation, gave theirs away. The chaplains entered the frigid waters and were last seen arm-locked, singing praises to God. We also remembered St. Martin of Tours who, even as a pagan soldier, gave half his cape to warm a beggar in rags – he later dreamed that the beggar was Jesus and got busy on getting himself baptized, ultimately becoming a bishop who knew how to bish.

    In this Year of the Priest and on this Veteran’s Day, we remember our beloved soldiers and their chaplains. Eternal rest…

  8. Mike Morrow says:

    Let us not forget Korean War veteran Fr. Emil Kapaun, Captain, U.S. Army, who died in a North Korean P.O.W. camp in May, 1951. See:



  9. robtbrown says:

    Let us not forget Korean War veteran Fr. Emil Kapaun, Captain, U.S. Army, who died in a North Korean P.O.W. camp in May, 1951. See:
    Comment by Mike Morrow

    Kapaun Mt Carmel High School in Wichita is named for him.

  10. pyrosapien says:

    Also remember Servant of God Lt. Vincent Capodanno MOH

    He was a Navy Chaplain serving with the Marines in Vietnam. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during battle where he sacrificed his life to save his men. If you aren’t familiar you can read of him at this website or better yet, read the book “Grunt Padre” written by Fr. Daniel Mode.

  11. doublenan says:

    Remembering my Dad and Uncle Bob, both Army, both serving in WWII, as did my Uncle Whitey in the Navy. Then there’s Brother Bob, who served in both Navy & A.Force during the 60’s. Finally two of my sons, one still serving in our submarine service, soon to assume command of his first submarine; the other retired from the Air Force…51 years of service between them. I am proud of them all, grateful for their keeping us safe and secure. To all who’ve served, and to their families: Thank you.

  12. medievalist says:

    Remembrance Day up here in Canada. “They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old. Years shall not weary nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”

  13. ghp95134 says:

    ecjmartin’s mention of his relative Andy McBride reminded me immediately of the Eric Bogle song, “No Man’s Land” (aka “Willie McBride” and “Green Fields of France”)

    God bless all our veterans!

    [Retired US Army officer, 1973-1994; father retired US Army officer (VN war), 1947-1970; grandfather retired US Army officer (WWII & Korea),1933-53.]
    Well how do you do, Private William McBride
    Do you mind if I sit here down by your grave side?
    And I’ll rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
    I’ve been walking all day and I’m nearly done.
    I see by your gravestone you were only 19
    When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916.
    Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
    Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

    Did they beat the drum slowly?
    Did they sound the fife lowly?
    Did the rifles fire o’er ye as they lowered you down?
    Did the bugles sing ‘The Last Post’ in chorus?
    Did the pipes play ‘The Flowers o’ the Forest’?

    And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
    In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
    And though you died back in 1916
    To that loyal heart are you always 19?
    Or are you a stranger without even a name
    Forever enshrined behind some glass-pane
    In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
    And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?


    Well the sun’s shining now on these green fields of France,
    The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance.
    The trenches are vanished long under the plough
    No gas, and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
    But here in this graveyard it’s still No Man’s Land
    The countless white crosses in mute witness stand.
    To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man
    And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.


    And I can’t help but wonder now Willie McBride
    Do all those who lie here know why they died?
    Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
    You really believed that this war would end war?
    But the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame –
    The killing and dying – it was all done in vain.
    For Willie McBride, it’s all happened again
    And again, and again, and again, and again.

    [ghp95134 note: “The Last Post” and “Flowers O’er the Forest” are the UK and Scotland equivalent of the US’s “Taps”]

  14. Girgadis says:

    Remembering in prayer my second cousin, 18-yr-old Christian, who joined the Marines in September, and my late father-in-law, Carl, who landed at Normandy as a spotter a few days after D-Day. To me, there is hardly a more sobering sight than that of row upon row of white crosses marking the graves of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    As an aside, if anyone is a World War II buff, there is an excellent production put out some years ago called “The Year of the General”. It was narrated by Charles Kurault and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and features Rommel, Patton, MacArthur, Montgomery, Nimitz, Eisenhower and Marshall.

  15. Serviam1 says:

    Remembering my second cousin Donald Allen Quagan, MM 2/C, USNR. He was stationed on the USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) on 19 Jan 1944 and assigned to Ship’s Company as a Machinist Mate On the fateful day of Friday, 11 May 45 while in support of the Okinawa Invasion two Kamikazes struck the Bunker Hill killing nearly 400 hundred of her crew. One these planes crashed directly through the Flight Deck into the Hangar Deck triggering a fire and a series of violent explosions from ordinance and aviation fuel. Donald was presumably KIA and at duty station in the hangar deck. Apparantly his remains were never recovered. It is suspected that he was blown overboard from concussion. His parents were Mr & Mrs James Quagan of Middleboro, MA

    Ironically, on another note his father James (my great Uncle) died of a stroke only 12 days before this incident. It is likely Donald never knew, due to heavy communication censorship in a wartime theatre of operations.

    God rest their Souls.

    I served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976 through 1980 as a

  16. Serviam1 says:

    OOPS got cut off. Continued from above…

    I served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976 through 1980 as an Electronics (PMEL) Technician in the relative peace of the post-Vietnam Carter years straight out of high school. Like other Veterans I went through college on the G.I. Bill studying Architecture. Having worked many years in the private sector, I now work as a Project Architect for the Depaertment of Veterans Affairs. I often joke with many of my colleagues (many of whom are also Veterans) that this is pay back…God bless our country.

  17. Subvet says:

    In a conversation with a former Israeli paratrooper some time ago, he stated “Your military have fairly good pay and benefits.”

    I immediately agreed but added, “There’s always something more that keeps us reenlisting.”

    He gave me a look that showed his understanding.

    P.J. Ahern MMCS(SS)(Ret.) 1970-1993 (There are no submariners down in Hell)

  18. Gwen says:

    My dad (20 yrs USAF) and I (26 1/2 yrs USAF) had a free (for vets) dinner at Applebee’s today and wondered, when did they start saying “thank you for your service?” He remembers returning from Viet Nam to a less than enthusiastic welcome. I remember being told (by the USAF) in the 80s to not wear uniforms in civilian airports. Today the citizens break into spontaneous applause when they see troops in BDUs in an airport. I much prefer the attitude today!

    For all those who said “thanks,” I say, “you are most welcome.”

    Thanks, vets, for keeping our nation safe and secure for 233 years.


  19. Sedgwick says:

    See if you can keep a dry eye when you hear this:

    (An unwitting tribute to St. Teresa of Avila as well?)

  20. Lee says:

    Well, it’s a new day, and not inappropriate to remember the fact that 1) yesterday we celebrated the feast of St Martin of Tours who resigned his commission in the Roman army out of Christian motivations; 2) As General Patton put it, the purpose of a soldier is not to die for his country, but to make the other poor bastard die for his country; 3) the purpose of an army is to close with capture or destroy the enemy; 4) at Nurenburg we established the principle that a soldier is responsible for all his deeds in war time, no matter what he was commanded, or who commanded him; 5) that this Catholic principle has not yet percolated into our catechesis of young men and women; 5) that we send our Catholic young into the service and into battle with absolutely NO moral formation about how a Catholic should conduct himself in war; 6) that our Catholic leadership has not got the foggiest idea of the moral formation given to our young men and women by non-commissioned officers; 7) my country right or wrong is not a principle that will get us to heaven as citizens or soldiers; 8) that our young people are being sent off into godforsaken places to face death daily and live in the midst of incredible moral turpitude without access, in many cases, to the sacraments; 9) nevertheless, to our young people we have NOTHING to say by way of caution while their lives and souls are at hazard.

    In other words, the patriotism of yesterday unless it is corrected by love of our heavenly country is a snare and a delusion.

  21. irishgirl says:

    Sedgwick-you were right: I could not keep a dry eye when I saw the video and heard that beautiful hymn. Thank you for sharing it!

    I also found a video of President Reagan’s funeral-“The Mansions of the Lord” was the final hymn at that service. I never knew till now what it was.

    My late father, Seaman First Class Edward Finnegan, was on the USS Santa Fe in World War II. His ship took part in one of the legendary rescues of that war, when the USS Franklin was attacked by Japanese kamikazes on March 19, 1945. The story of the Franklin was told in the memoir left by the Catholic chaplain, Fr. Joseph O’Callaghan, SJ-‘I Was Chaplain On The Franklin’. For his heroism on that day, Chaplain O’Callaghan received the Medal of Honor.

    My father’s older brother, who was my godfather, Cilfford Finnegan, was in the Navy during WW II as well, but his was a more mundane service-a clerk.

    And my late mother’s two brothers, Frederick and Henry Schuessler, served in the Army in WW II, one in Bavaria [in spite of being born in Germany] and the other in Italy.

    It’s thanks to men like my father and my uncles, and to all our veterans, both living and deceased, that we have our freedom-may we never forget that!

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