While celebrating Independence Day July 4, U.S. Miliary Services Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., urged Americans to recognize “men and women in uniform” both past and present, for their “selfless dedication and sacrifice.”
“Independence Day is an occasion for picnics and parades, family fun and fireworks, but we must never forget that freedom comes at a high price,” the archbishop wrote in a July 2 statement. “The nation’s birthday beckons our rededication to what makes us a great country while reminding us we are indeed ‘one nation under God.’”
He praised the individuals who cut ties with Great Britain 238 years ago to form the original 13 colonies.
“Representatives … set out on a new course,” he wrote. “It was a bold decision, which continues to bear fruit in our times.”
While there were questions about the country’s future, the founders understood the importance of working together for the common good.
“None of the founding fathers knew where their decision would lead, but they did recognize the importance of working together to build a new kind of nation—a nation founded on principles and centered around the essence of what it means to be human, created in the image of Almighty God,” the archbishop wrote, “With inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
That boldness and bravery continues to be reflected today.
“Gratefully we celebrate not only the cunning and courage of our founders, but also the selfless dedication and sacrifice of the many Americans serving our nation in uniform. Our liberty lives through their sweat and blood,” he continued. “Preserving our way of life demands vigilance, valor, respect for conscience and victory over the forces of evil that would otherwise vanquish the values we hold dear.
“We must always recognize our debt to these brave men and women whose commitment and courage keep us free.”
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, created by St. John Paul II in 1985, visit www.milarch.org.
Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) | By the Numbers
– U.S. military installations served by AMS priests: 220-plus
– Countries served by AMS priests: 29
– AMS priests serving in Veteran’s Administration Medical Centers: 153
– Catholics worldwide depending on AMS for spiritual and sacramental needs: 1.8 million