Catholic Cemeteries: Celebrates Memorial Day with Veterans Tributes and Masses

Catholic Cemeteries: Celebrates Memorial Day with Veterans Tributes and Masses

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By Kathy Fanger

You are invited on Memorial Day, May 29, at 10:30 a.m. to the Annual Veterans Tributes and Masses at Calvary and Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemeteries. We are proud to join more than 1,000 Catholic cemeteries, large and small, across our nation in participating in the celebration, “Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes,” developed by the Catholic Cemetery Conference three years ago.

We will pray for and honor those men and women who have sacrificed their lives in order to defend the rights of all to freedom, justice and peace. Our prayers will include deceased veterans, all active military serving around the world, and all of our deceased loved ones. We will pray for an end to hostility and violence, so that true peace and cooperation may come to our world.

The Veterans Tributes will feature: The National Anthem, Prayer, Speeches, Lowering of the Flag, Wreath Presentation at the Military Branch Flags, Taps, and a Tribute Wall.

Gate of Heaven Memorial Day Event: The Veterans Tribute begins at 10:30 a.m. at the outdoor Pavilion area; Mass at 11 a.m. with presider, Monsignor Francis V. Cilia. Tents and chairs will be provided. There will be food trucks available after the Mass. Please allow time to park.

Calvary Memorial Day Event: The Veterans Tribute begins at 10:30 a.m. in the main parking lot area; Mass at 11 a.m. with presider, Reverend Christopher Bennett. Tents and chairs will be provided. A food truck will be available after the Mass. Please allow time to park.

Many organizations will participate including: The American Legion, Wreaths Across America, Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, ROTC students, local parish and high school choirs, and lay parish ministers.

History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day, or Declaration Day, was announced on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30 that year when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Its purpose was to observe a day when our nation intentionally remembers and honors all those who have given their lives in service to their country. It is not to honor war, but to honor those who died in the many conflicts and wars that our country has seen. We acknowledge that this service holds great risk and we are grateful to those who have paid the ultimate price – their lives.

Some of the rituals that are observed on Memorial Day include placing flowers, flags and momentos on the graves of loved ones, particularly veterans, and flying the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon. In December 2000, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed which asked that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans to voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of silence, remembering the true meaning of this day.

For more information, contact (650) 428-3730 or catholiccemeteriesdsj.org.

Caregivers Mass & Brunch
July 22 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
All Saints Chapel
22555 Cristo Rey Drive, Los Altos
Presider: Father Christopher Bennett
If you are a caregiver for a loved one in a home, nearby or far, you and the person for whom you care, if they are able, are invited to come pray with others and enjoy a complimentary brunch. Please RSVP by July 14 to (650) 428-3730 or www.ccdsj.org.