Monday, May 28, 2012

God Bless America


Today is Memorial Day.  Daily Mass was so crowded that I wondered whether people thought Memorial Day was a Holy Day of Obligation.  Then I thought again.  What better way to honor our dead veterans and other loved ones, than by celebrating Mass?

Memorial Day is a time for people to remember and honor veterans.  Fr. Moy related a story about his friend, the military chaplain.  When his friend became too old to serve in the military, he would still remember all servicemen at his Masses.  He would remember them, individually.  What he did the was cut out the obituaries from the Armed Services newspapers.  Then he brought the newspaper cutouts to Mass.  He'd announce before Mass began that Mass was being said for .....  He'd read the name, rank, branch of service, where they came from, dates, and where they died.  He does this every day.

The recessional after the Mass was the organ playing God Bless America--just the organ music.

Guess what.

We people spontaneously broke out singing God Bless America.

I was very moved.  I had a flashback from my childhood.  As a petulant child trying to avoid going to bed, I would often beg for more stories, prayers, songs, etc., from my babysitter--my great aunt.  She was my grandmother's sister.  She never married, and more or less adopted us as her own children.  I loved her very much.  She never learned to speak much English, but she was a patriotic American.  She only knew one song in English--God Bless America.

Let me tell you.  No one sings God Bless America, as heartfelt as an immigrant American, with broken English.

I love you, Auntie.  Requiescat in pace et in amore.