Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, served 10 years in the Air Force before discerning a call to religious life, but Sunday’s Memorial Day Mass of Remembrance was all about those who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving the country.
As pastor of St. George Parish in Bourbonnais, Fr. Dan celebrated Mass Sunday and then offered a blessing and the laying of a memorial wreath during the moving ceremony in the St. George cemetery afterwards.
It opened with a military procession, with members of the American Legion Post 1143 marching in behind flag bearers in an honor guard. Next, members of Scout Troop 319, which meets every week in Querbes Hall at St. George, marched in with their own flag bearers.
“The Scouts and the American Legion members continue to remind us of ‘God and Country,” in this little church in the country, by their actions and their service,” Fr. Dan said afterwards.
Parish members said the two groups came together to honor the brave men and women of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the country’s freedom.
“Thank you to everyone who came out to honor our fallen,” parish leaders said simply.
The historic St. George cemetery is the final resting place of many veterans, including former pastor Fr. Francis Czerwionka, CSV, who was a combat soldier in Gen. George Patton’s “spearhead” division, with the 4th Armored Division, 10th Armored Infantry in the European theater of World War II.