This past Monday, it was my honor and pleasure to march as part of the Beverly Farms Memorial Day Parade. Over the course of the almost two hours I had the opportunity to chat with the other marchers including Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill, several of the city council members including Ward 6’s own John Frates, and others. I was privileged to offer three prayers over the course of the march, remembering and offering thanks for those who have served our nation and have gone on to greater life. A number of parishioners were present to watch the march and speeches, and our own Ed Brown was the MC at the Beverly Farm Cemetery ceremony. What a moving day!
Throughout the event I could not help but remember my father and grandfather. My grandfather, Lt. Col. Richard Chase, was a career infantry officer, serving during WWII and beyond. Among other things, he was the first Battalion Commander of the 504th Parachute Battalion (later 2nd Battalion of the 503d PIR). His name is engraved on the first “Prop Blast” mug. My father, 1st Lt. Richard C. Chase was an army brat, a graduate of West Point, later changing careers and getting his doctorate in physics. As I marched, I could sense their presence, my father and grandfather, alongside all those we honored who served to defend their country.
So on this day, poised between Memorial Day and Father’s Day, I am grateful to my father, my grandfather, and all veterans. These anniversaries give us time to remember those who have gone before.
This Sunday is another anniversary. It is when we remember the giving of the Holy Spirit to the early church at Pentecost. It is when we offer thanks to those first Christians who were swept up by the fire of God, giving them the strength to turn the world on its head.
For all that I have great respect for the military, I pray for the day when the wind of the Spirit will blow throughout the earth, as it did that first Pentecost, and cleanse it of the need for war and conflict. May the lion lay down with the lamb. Come, Lord Jesus!
You are very dear to me and to God in Christ.