One of the powerful things about Memorial Day is that we live in a community and an America that is worthy of sacrifice. Many feel, for good reason, the foundational ideals of our Republic are in peril. The proclamation of the first Memorial Day by General John A. Logan in 1868 stated the importance of guarding the graves of those slain in battle with “sacred vigilance.” It is a calling bestowed upon all of us to toil for improvement of the common good and a better nation. We should constantly ask ourselves how do we sustain freedom and what can we do to spread liberty across our land? The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia bears an inscription that comes from Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
The men and women of the Armed Forces often remind us of the best aspects of our nation. It is beneficial and a blessing to educate ourselves on the military history of this country. Lexington and Concord, Antietam, Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Khe Sanh, and Ramadi, Iraq are just a few of the places covered by American blood. In Europe, one can easily be overwhelmed by row after row and cemetery after cemetery of American dead from the great wars of the 20th century.
In so many ways America stands at a precipice. Our debt is crippling the nation, we have a bloated moral deficit, and we no longer share a common purpose. These are all serious and seemingly overwhelming obstacles. But America has faced overwhelming odds before.
One of the most moving books I ever read was The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour by James D. Hornfischer. Hornfischer, a naval historian, called it the greatest upset in the entire history of naval warfare. But of course victory came at a tremendous price. Known as the Battle off Samar (island), it is an epic David vs. Goliath story. Take time to learn the sacrifice of those sailors and what they endured for our country. The book of Deuteronomy declares, “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.”
Take time this weekend to remember and give thanks for the sacrifice of our Armed Forces, especially those who paid with their life in defense of this land and its ideals. Remember to pray for peace and for the families who recently lost loved ones in defense of this country. Below is an exceptional and haunting video with still photos from Arlington National Cemetery:
Are you attending the 2012 Acton University conference? If so, I can only hope that you are as excited as I am about all of the wonderful things we have planned for the event. To get your mind in gear for the conference, why not participate in a Q&A session with a member of Acton’s staff?
On Wednesday May 30 at 6:00pm ET, we will be organizing an AU Online Q&A session with Dr. Stephen Grabill, director of Programs and International and research scholar in theology. The topics that will be discussed are taken from some of Acton’s core curriculum lectures: Christian Anthropology, Christianity and the Idea of Limited Government, Economic Way of Thinking, and Myths about the Market.
If you would like to join us but find yourself in need of a refresher, don’t worry! The easiest way to familiarize yourself with the topics that will be discussed is to log on to AU Online and watch the four Foundational Lectures.
Today’s appearances include an guest spot this morning on the voice of the Mid-Ohio Valley, WMOV, on WMOV Live with Greg Gack:
Father Robert was also in-studio today with G. Gordon Liddy, broadcasting nationwide from Washington, D.C.:
You’ll also be able to listen to Rev. Sirico this afternoon at 5:00 on WLCR AM in Louisville, Kentucky, on the Mike Janocik Show, and be sure to tune in tonight on EWTN for Father Robert’s appearance on The World Over with Raymond Arroyo.
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has reviewed Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for Free Economy at his popular blog, “What Does the Prayer Really Say”.
This is a timely book, given that we are in a crucially important election cycle in the USA. Profoundly different visions are on ballot in November. A major dimension of the different visions involves contingent choices concerning the economy, and therefore jobs, entitlements, etc. In the last chapter Sirico describes the fictive homo economicus, a the cold and selfish caricature of someone advancing “free market” ideas.
Prominent Catholic leaders, including Acton President and Co-founder Fr. Robert Sirico, are speaking out against the deliberate withholding of news regarding the Catholic lawsuit versus the Obama Administration. ABC World News and NBC Nightly News have given the lawsuit no coverage, and CBS Evening news had 19 seconds of coverage, according to NewsBusters.org.
Here are Fr. Sirico’s thoughts:
The Obama Administration’s assault on religious liberty has united the Catholic Church in a way no one thought possible. Among those suing the Obama Administration Monday are some of the most prestigious Catholic institutions in America, with many more expected to follow. These organizations are united in their demand that the government end its unprecedented assault on a once cherished core constitutional principle. This issue and these lawsuits are historic. The media blackout on these lawsuits confirm the shameful prejudice that is growing against the Catholic Church in America.