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Assembly Holds Veterans Day Ceremonies to Honor Our Veterans and Our Flag


The Assembly held its first Public, Patriotic, Parish activity of the Fraternal Year this Veterans Day at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville. The program consisted of three separate activities for Sir Knights to participate in.


The day began at 7:15am at the flagpole in front of the Church. A group of Sir Knights from the Assembly gathered to raise the colors and to pray in thanksgiving. Sean Ferguson, US Navy Veteran, Fourth Degree Knight, and District Deputy honored us by posting the flag of the United States of America (pictured left). Distinguished guest and fellow Veteran, Henry Lowe, posted the flag of the State of Arkansas (pictured below). Joe Beffa, PGK, Fourth Degree Knight, and retired Police Officer posted the St. Joseph Catholic School flag (pictured below). The colors were then raised.

Following the flag raising, all men present recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Faithful Navigator, Rich Oloffson (pictured right), spoke on the gifts of Liberty, Peace, and Security that our Veterans have given us and how today's activities would help the men of our Assembly to reflect on, honor, and cherish these gifts in our activities throughout the day. Those assembled then prayed the Litany for Liberty.


At 11:00am, all Sir Knights in the Assembly were encouraged to pray the Rosary for "peace in the world" wherever they were. In 1917, Our Lady of Fatima directed the young seers to pray the Rosary daily for peace in the world. The following year, in 1918, that peace came. The Great War, which had raged for four years ended with the signing of the Armistice on 11/11/1918. We celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th in honor of that Armistice which allowed the combatants to return home to their families. Our prayers today paid homage to the intercession of Our Lady and the peace she so desired. Like Our Lady, the highest goal of all true warriors is peace. Thus, we showed our cherishment of the gift of peace by uniting in prayer through the Rosary.

Lastly, just before sunset, Sir Knights gathered one final time to lower the flag. Fourth Degree Knight and District Marshal, Chris Fitz (pictured left) spoke on the proper etiquette in lowering the flag and taught the children in attendance how to properly fold the flag. The Sir Knights present then held a moment of silent prayer in remembrance of the faithful departed who had served in the US armed forces. In closing, Faithful Navigator, Rich Oloffson, provided some final remarks and all in attendance prayed the St. Michael Chaplet for the security of all active duty Servicemen and women. Devotion to the St. Michael Chaplet for this cause has been encouraged by the Supreme Council, and all Sir Knights are encouraged to adopt it.


As the sun set, the Assembly had honored all US Veterans, present, past, and future with their actions and their prayers. The Sir Knights who participated demonstrated their deep appreciation for the hard-won gifts of Liberty, Peace, and Security our Veterans' service have won for us. It was a great start to the Patriotic activities for our Fraternal Year.

 

For those Sir Knights unable to attend the in-person activities at the flagpole, a transcript of the opening and closing remarks is below.


Opening Remarks of the Faithful Navigator during the morning ceremonies:


"Sir Knights:


The Knights of the Fourth Degree are described as “Religiously Devoted, and Patriotically Proud.” What better way to exemplify that description than what we are gathered here for today?


Today, we are here to honor the Veterans of the United States’ Armed Forces. Their commitment to our flag and our nation, and the fruits of their sacrifices have given us the gifts of:


Liberty, Peace, and Security


There is no greater way to express appreciation for a gift than to honor it and to cherish it. As Catholic gentlemen we believe that the greatest sign of honor or cherishment, is heart-felt prayer.


Today, in our ceremonies, we will honor the flag of our country – the symbol of the nation our Veterans served – by raising and lowering it with reverence and surrounding it with prayer.

This morning, we will show our appreciation for the gift of our Liberties – especially our religious liberties – by praying the Litany for Liberty before the flag.


Later today, in our homes, our offices, wherever we are, we will pray the Rosary for “peace in the world” as instructed by Our Lady of Fatima. In this way we will show our appreciation for the gift of Peace so often purchased at high a price by our Veterans.


Lastly, this evening, we will pray the St. Michael Chaplet for the Security and protection of our Servicemen and women. By doing so, we repay that precious gift to those in active duty – who carry on the legacy of our Veterans -- so that they may return home safely and become Veterans themselves.


Sir Knights, we are Patriotically proud of our Veterans, who have given so much to ensure our Liberty, our Peace, and our Security. As religiously devoted Catholic gentleman let us honor and cherish those gifts through prayer.


Please join me in praying the Litany for Liberty . . ."

Litany-for-Liberty-2
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Concluding remarks of the Faithful Navigator during the closing ceremonies:


"Sir Knights:


102 years ago today, on November 11, 1918, the Great War came to an end with signing of the Armistice.


For the first time in four years, the expansionist designs of Imperial powers no longer threatened the Liberties of the Western Democracies. For the first time in four years, Peace reigned in the world. For the first time in four years, mothers and fathers could put their children to bed with the Security of knowing that the “hideous strength” of industrialized warfare would not reach their doorsteps. And . . . for the first time in four years, the troops could return home.


That is why today, we honor our Veterans – those who have served and returned home safely. Still, we would be remiss, not to take a moment today to also honor their fallen comrades in arms -- those faithful departed who through their service, paid the ultimate price for our Liberty, Peace, and Security. In honor of their sacrifice, please join me in a moment of silent prayer.

[Silence]

Sir Knights:


In respect and appreciation for our Veterans, we have already honored the gifts of Liberty and Peace through our prayers this morning. As the day ends, let us look to the future. Let us offer repayment of the gift of Security to our current Servicemen and women by praying the St. Michael Chaplet. By doing so, we may have great confidence that they will be “defended in battle” by the Prince of the Heavenly Host himself, so that they too will return home to us safely. In this way, we conclude our ceremonies by honoring Veterans past, present, and future for the gifts of Liberty, Peace, and Security they have given us.

Please join me in praying the St. Michael Chaplet. . ."


The Chaplet of St Michael
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