We pray for and hold in our hearts all who have served our country, who have suffered in any way as a result, along with prayers for their families and loved ones.
We hold notable remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for our God-given freedoms.
Eternal Memory and prayerful dedication to the parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives in World War II. They served valiantly on the soil of their ancestors to ensure freedom for all. (listed below).
Remember that Memorial Day each year is set aside to honor specifically those who have died during wars. The United States sets aside Veterans’ Day for all who have served in the military, current living veterans and deceased veterans. While the original meaning of each holiday seems to have been lost with the passing of generations, we can help our friends and family learn more about each through the many resources available online.
Our Christian values teach us in Matthew 25 of the corporal works of mercy, that include “burying the dead”. That includes not just the act of burial, but the respect we give to how we care for the sacred grounds in which our loved ones are buried, the many ways we can remember the deceased through prayer, and the respect associated and deserved for those who have passed and their families.
Many Americans are not aware of the number of lives lost in all the wars involving American service men and women. Or for example, the number of American soldiers buried in cemeteries on foreign soil, those managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission, an agency of the executive branch of our government established by Congress in 1923. You can learn more by visiting their website. The statistics of those who died during World War II are unimaginable to this day. 405,399 Americans lost during World War II. 92,958 are buried overseas in the American military cemeteries and another 78,985 are commemorated at other monuments as missing in action, lost or buried at sea.
As generations come and go, as the world evolves and we find ourselves praising our achievements, we do well to stop for a moment of reflection. To reflect on history. To examine events from the past and how they have shaped our lives in the present. And to see from a higher perspective where we are as individuals, a nation, and a world. We must first give thanksgiving to God for our freedom, free will, and the many graces he bestows upon us, of which we can do nothing on our own. In turn, we remember all who have served and continue to serve to preserve our freedom. And on these special memorial days, we give thanks especially as people of faith for our right to freely worship as we choose.
The following are the names of those from St. Michael Church, Pittston who died during WWII:
John J. Stegura
If you are aware of any other members of St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church who died while in active military service, please contact our parish to let us know.