Sunday, May 25, 2008
Each year the soldiers of the Third United States Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard") take part in the ceremony called "Flags In." Just before Memorial Day, each grave in Arlington National Cemetery is decorated with a small American flag. The flags remain in place until the conclusion of the Memorial Day Weekend when they are all removed. It is the only time during the year when American flags are permitted at all grave sites in the Cemetery.
Memorial Day Prayer
In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts,
let us call on the name of the One whose power over us
is great and gentle, firm and forgiving, holy and healing…
You who created us,
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.
Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…
Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own:
give us hearts as generous as theirs…
Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…
Help us to shape and make a world
where we will put down the arms of war
and live in the harvest of justice and peace…
Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones:
in our hearts let your healing be our hope.
Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.
(This is the prayer I will use today at one of Concord's several town observances of Memorial Day. Because people of many faiths will be present, I have written the prayer to be as inclusive as possible. My parish will celebrate Mass in our cemetery on Memorial Day morning, praying for those who are buried there and for all who have gone before us.)
America the Beautiful: Boston Pops Orchestra
Posted by Austin Fleming at 4:39 PM