Memory of veterans honored at local Catholic cemeteries

A group from the Catholic War Veterans holds a remembrance ceremony at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline on Memorial Day 2014. The annual outdoor ceremony follows the 10:30 a.m. Memorial Day Mass, held in the cemetery’s Chapel Mausoleum. Photo: Steve Irby A group from the Catholic War Veterans holds a remembrance ceremony at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline on Memorial Day 2014. The annual outdoor ceremony follows the 10:30 a.m. Memorial Day Mass, held in the cemetery’s Chapel Mausoleum. Photo: Steve Irby

For the third Memorial Day, four local Catholic cemeteries will host special events to honor those who gave their lives in military service, as well as active military personnel and veterans.

“Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes,” is a national program of the Catholic Cemetery Conference that has been adopted here by Associated Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Last year, more than 1,000 Catholic cemeteries across the country participated in the program, according to the conference.

“We are honored to be participating in this program and are blessed to have the opportunity to celebrate the men and women who have sacrificed in order to defend the rights of all to freedom, justice and peace,” said Richard Peterson, director of Associated Catholic Cemeteries.

Participating local cemeteries are Calvary in Seattle; Holyrood in Shoreline, Gethsemane in Federal Way, and St. Patrick in Kent.

In the week leading up to Memorial Day (May 25), each cemetery has posted a large “tribute board” where veterans, active military members, families and others can write messages.

On Memorial Day, Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. at each of the four cemeteries. During Mass, active military members and veterans are invited to help recite intercessions, which will be followed by a moment of silence. Each cemetery will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony, accompanied by a military honor guard.

A Navy honor guard from Naval Station Everett presents the flag before the 2014 Memorial Day Mass at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline. Photo: Steve IrbyA Navy honor guard from Naval Station Everett presents the flag before the 2014 Memorial Day Mass at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline. Photo: Steve Irby

“We are inspired by these individuals and hope our participation can be just one way to give thanks for all they have done for us,” Peterson said.

Also on Memorial Day, Masses will be said at Gethsemane Cemetery at 12:30 p.m. in Vietnamese and at 2:30 p.m. in Korean. At Holyrood Cemetery, additional Memorial Day Masses will be said at 12:30 p.m. in Korean and at 2:30 p.m. in Vietnamese.