Memorial Day

The following came in an email from Jim Hein, SFO (Secular Franciscan Order)

The son-in-law of Anne Kramar, SFO, St. Clare Fraternity in Omaha has recently returned home from Iraq. His name is Jim; he is married to Anne’s daughter, Mary Jane. Jim and Mary Jane have three children, the oldest (boy) is graduating from High School this year. Jim was serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. Upon completion of his second tour he was called up for a third tour – it was the time period that the Federal Government put into effect the “stop loss” policy. The “stop loss” meant that – “When a unit is called up for duty in Iraq, even those service members who are near the end of their term of enlistment (Jim was ready for retirement) are forced to serve for the entirety of the new tour of duty. About the same time that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates changed the normal length of an active-duty tour from 12 months to 15 months.

During this third tour Jim had persistent back pains. He was diagnosed as having Liver cancer – with the possibility that it may have already metastasized to his pancreas. He is scheduled for additional testing during the next couple of weeks at the Kansas University Hospital. Please hold Jim, his wife and children and Anne Kramar, SFO, in your thoughts and prayers.

In order to remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000 asking all Americans at 3 P.M. local time “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a MOMENT of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence, prayer or listing to ‘taps’.”

I ask all of you to try and remember this moment on Memorial Day – holding in your thoughts and prayers the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen soldiers – and the disabled veterans and their families.

“Mindful that they are bearers of peace which must be built up unceasingly, they should seek out ways of unity and fraternal harmony through dialogue, trusting in the presence of the divine seed in everyone and in the transforming power of love and pardon.”

“Violence Ends Where Love Begins”

Jim Hein, SFO
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