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May 26, 2019

Friends ,

This is the weekend that most of us in this country long for and anticipate. Yes, it is the unofficial start of the summer; yes we are nearing the longest day of the year (meaning day light); yes, it is a long holiday weekend; yes, it is the official opening of many peoples summer homes; yes for many it’s our first cookout of the season; yes, the Red Sox are playing much better; yes, we can now plant the flowers and vegetables without worrying about a sudden frost; yes, the temperature will now be routinely in the 70’s & 80’s; and yes, we start to plan our summer vacations. Those are all true and we have the right to enjoy every minute of it.

But as you know, deep down everyone of us is hopefully celebrating Memorial Day weekend very aware of what this holiday is all about. The front cover of this bulletin says it all. As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  We are challenged every year to remember those women and men who have sacrificed their lives for our country, our citizens and our world. There will be parades everywhere, flags will be flown at half staff, the cemeteries will be crowded, prayer services will be plentiful, patriotic music will be heard, the names of those who have given their lives will be read aloud and veterans everywhere will be saluting their fallen comrades.

There are very mixed emotions on Memorial Day. In a sense we don’t know whether enjoying ourselves and partying is an appropriate way to commemorate the tragic deaths of so many. At the same time, we know they also at one time celebrated this holiday with us as children, teenagers, and adults never knowing what the future would hold. I often think that anyone who joins the military and serves our country is willing to give their life for those they know and for those they will never know. Some pay the ultimate price. The great majority return to their loved ones and we are so grateful for their service. For many of them this can be a traumatic day as they relive the events that took the lives of those who served with them. There are so many consequences and repercussions that follow armed conflict among countries.

The tombstones and flags that adorn our cemeteries this weekend are a tribute to all of our deceased veterans.

Today, together, we celebrate our freedom and pray for those who are not yet benefitting from that freedom. The parishes of the Blue Hills Collaborative join with our parishioners and our country on this weekend to say “thank you” to those who served, presently serve and look forward to serving in the future.

Happy Memorial Day!

Enjoy life!
Father Coyne


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