Assumption Grotto has, each year on Memorial Day a special Mass with the Catholic War Veterans which begins with a flag raising ceremony at 9:00. The Mass follows at 9:15. Some years, we are graced with the presence of several priests. Here are some photos from 2008, which I have been unable to surpass. I am copying my post from that year.
The visiting, hooded monk, is Fr. Aidan Logan, O.C.s.o, chaplain, US Naval Acadamy, and a good friend of Chris Kolomjec, who served a tour of duty in Iraq which ended in April 2007. Since 2005 when I first got to Grotto, he has visited the Metro Detroit area each Memorial Day, and once or twice in between.
I never did anything religious for Memorial Day until I found Grotto. The spiritual dimension - the praying for souls of fallen soldiers, as well as for the conversion of veterans and soldiers alike, it is worthwhile to assist at Mass on Memorial Day. I have found that aside from the usual "America the Beautiful" or other patriotic hymn, there are few places to really spend time in prayer for the our war veterans and dead soldiers.
I only recently learned more about my dad's older brother, Eddie, who died in WWII. He was a radio operator on a B-24G in the 741st Bomb Squadron, 405th Bomb Group Ceregnola Field, Italy. His plane went down just off the coast of Italy on May 24, 1944. He is listed on the "Tablet of the Missing" in Florence. Requiescat in pace!
If you want to learn more about your relatives who died during any foreign war, you can write to the American Battle Monuments Commission. They sent me, for free, photographs of my uncles name engraved on the tablet. I can even order flowers to be laid out on certain days. At their home page you can find a search function in which you can pick the war and type in the name.
This is a favorite view of mine, of the back side of Assumption Grotto Church from the cemetary.
And, one of the visitors down by the grotto itself.
Te Deum Laudamus! Home
The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!