I was moved deeply at the vigil mass at St. Bede's in Williamsburg on Saturday. St. Bede's is our home away from home, a Church we visit often when spending time with our sons who live just a couple of miles away. My hope is that one day soon, they'll begin to go to St. Bede's regularly... but I digress.
There were a smattering of younger folks who stood, but the vast majority, and there were many in attendance, were much older. Members of the greatest generation. Some stood feebly. Others ramrod straight. Some were helped to their feet. Others stood on their own, with God given strength.
The Pastor asked us to raise our hands toward them all as he prayed a beautiful blessing over them. It was the least we could do. They are owed so much. Join me in praying for all of them even now, particularly those who serve today:
Lord God, Almighty Father, creator of mankind and author of peace, as we are ever mindful of the cost paid for the liberty we possess, we ask you to bless the members of our armed forces [past and present]. Give them courage, hope and strength. May they ever experience your firm support, gentle love and compassionate healing. Be their power and protector, leading them from darkness to light. To you be all glory, honor and praise, now and forever.
From Ray Charles lips and my heart, thanks to all veterans, those who've served, those who serve. We will ever be in your debt. It is you, your service, your sacrifice, that makes America beautiful:
H/T to Padre Steve for the video.