• Rev. Lawrence E. Polansky

Memorial Day 2015

Today has always been an important day in our family. More often than not, when I was growing up, we would be visiting my grandmothers in Pennsylvania ... my Dad's Mom in Brockton, PA and my Mom's Mom in Barnesville, PA. My Dad and all four of his brothers served our nation in the Armed Forces. Two of my uncles were in the Normandy invasion and survived. My Uncle Joe, being in the cold Atlantic for so long a period of time would develop complications with the circulation in his lower body and eventually his kidneys failed. The Catholic Priests from the parishes in and around the area where my grandmothers lived would visit the cemeteries where many of our veterans are buried and offer a Mass or prayer service and bless the graves. That tradition continues to today and more often than not, my Dad represents the Polansky family at those ceremonies (My uncles / his brothers have all since passed away.). Many cousins on both my Dad's side of the family and my Mom's side of the family honorably served this country in the military and are remembered today.

Here in Somers Point, there was a parade down Shore Road. When I was serving in the parish of the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit in Elmer / Mullica Hill / Woodstown, Mass would be celebrated in the two small church cemeteries in Woodstown (St. Joseph Church) and in Mullica Hill (Holy Name of Jesus Church). The local Knights of Columbus Council would make sure there was a flag on each veteran's grave and during the Mass, their names and the war they fought in would be read out.

Someone told me about the video of an 11-year-old boy who had a special project for his class here in America commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy invasion. I have included it below.

I have also included the video of a young man, Myles Eckert, who decided to "pay it forward" when he saw an enlisted man enter the same restaurant where he was eating (actually a re-post).

and as I looked for the link to include it in this entry, I found out that there was an update ... Miles' act did not go unnoticed.

I have a profound respect for those who serve our country in the armed forces and pray for them every time I celebrate Mass. But on this Memorial Day, I wanted to say a special "thank you" to all the men and women who gave (and give) their lives defending our nation and our freedom. Thank you to all of their families as well!


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