Sunday, November 10, 2019

On Veterans Day: Let Us Remember....

Veterans Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated and observed on November 11. It is a day to remember the fallen, recognize those who served in the United States Armed Forces and extend our gratitude to those who protect our freedom every day. While some may have friends or family members who are veterans, many do not. Today at Mass, the pastor of my parish asked those who were Veterans to stand for a blessing. To my surprise not even ten people rose. The small number, however, did not diminish the sense appreciation from the congregation. As I looked at the Veterans in my midst, I wanted to know where they had served. I was curious to know to which branch they once belonged. I thought about their families and their passions.

Veterans are moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, cousins, and friends. Reviewing the life of Danielle Green, a US Army veteran, I was reminded that they are athletes and sports fans.
Green graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1999. She earned an athletic scholarship to play on the women's basketball for Coach Muffet McGraw and the Fightin' Irish. She battled through injuries and became a standout, earning the distinction as the 17th all time leading scorer. A crafty lefty and great ball handler, it still hurts me to know that she lost that very arm in combat. Green was recognized in 2015 as the ESPY Pat Tillman Award winner; she is one of my heroes.

Green's entire life, like many veterans has been a story of giving to others, seeking a greater purpose and overcoming adversity. Her advice in the midst of hard times is to be true to yourself and continue to ask the big questions: What's my purpose? What's my passion? What do I want my legacy to be? 

On this Veterans day, take a moment to thank the men and women in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Their legacy is told in the story of our nation. Their purpose is to keep the world safe and free from tyranny. And their passion? Find out! It might be service...but it might also be their family....their sport....their hometown team.

As many students say to begin their prayer, Let us remember....

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