11 hours ago
Friday, May 22, 2009
The first Alma Mater I learned was that of Northeast Catholic High School. My father graduated from North in 1942 and like most young men of that time, was soon in uniform.
My earliest memories of Memorial Day as a holiday center at North Catholic. Each year he would get me up early and we would go to Mass in the small and beautiful chapel of the faculty house at North. After Mass there would be a short ceremony outside at the Blessed Mother Shrine dedicated to all the North graduates who had died during World War II. This was when I learned to sing "See our banners wave proudly before us". Attending this solemn ceremony was special to me. I learned that my father honored his classmates and schoolmates who had given their lives for our country and that his school remembered them not only every year, but every day with the shrine.
For those of us lucky enough not to have family members' names on that shrine, or thousands of similar plaques throughout our country, it is perhaps easy to be forgetful of the real meaning of this holiday. This weekend, let us all take a moment and offer up a prayer of gratitude for the men and women who saw a duty and gave their all for our sakes.