This morning I attended the Annual Memorial Day Parade in Harrison on Halstead Avenue. It was a great occasion to remember and honor those who have given their lives for our nation and for the freedom’s we enjoy here in the Unites States. Every one of the men and women who have served our nation in uniform deserve our utmost gratitude and respect.
While many people see Memorial Day as a time to go to the beach or have a bar-b-que, it is most importantly a time to come out and show support for those who have served this nation throughout its history and who have died for us. That is exactly what we did this morning here in the Town/Village of Harrison. I was proud to be among the hundreds who were present at this morning’s parade and I salute all of the men and women of our armed forces of the United States both living and dead.
Above, Monsignor Francis McAree, Pastor of Saint Gregory the Great Church in Harrison gives the Invocation at the ceremony following the parade. The fulltext of the prayer is below:
O Gracious God our Father, we come before you on this Memorial Day in 2012 to remember and to honor those who have given their lives in the service of our country. In the Book of Genesis we learn that we are made in your image and likeness. Being made so, we possess a share in the freedom which is part of your perfect nature. When this freedom is threatened, either for ourselves or for others, we instinctively know that an attempt to diminish our humanity is present. Help us always to appreciate the freedom which defines us…and give us the strength of will and purpose to defend it when necessary, to promote it wherever possible and to cherish it always. With freedom we grow in Your image. Without it, we live only in fear and shadows. So have our forefathers realized and so have they done in their battles to preserve our freedom. We honor them this day. Make us their worthy successors as we travel through this troubled world, reward our servicemen and women for their sacrifices today, reward and welcome into your kingdom those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so that we may be free. May their selfless example inspire us and Your grace guide, strengthen and protect us and our nation. We ask all these things in Your Holy Name. Amen.
Mayor Ron Belmont of Harrison addresses the crowd at the Memorial Service. Next to him is Mr. Benny DeFonce, the organizer of the event.
Members of the United States Marine Corps. Honor Guard impressively stand at attention during the ceremony.