“Honoring Service to the Nation” by Bishop DiMarzio

November 5, 2014 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This coming week we celebrate Veterans’ Day, which originally was named Armistice Day. The armistice, or ceasefire, between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, marked the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I and took place at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. This civil holiday reminds us to honor all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, whereas Memorial Day is a day in which we remember those who have died while serving our Nation.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, celebrated Mass on Sept. 13, commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I, at Italy’s largest war memorial in Redipuglia, a town in northeast Italy near the border with Slovenia. Pope Francis said, “Above the entrance to this cemetery hangs in the air those iconic words of war. ‘What does it matter to me.’ Each one of the dead buried here had their own plans, their own dreams … but their lives were cut short. Why? Why did humanity say, ‘What does it matter to me?’ Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction…”

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.