With November being a time of year to remember your deceased loved ones and Veterans Day also earlier in the month, I can’t help but think about my namesake and great-grandfather, Joseph Verhille.
I inherited his Bible from the years he spent at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit to study for the priesthood. He ultimately discerned out of the seminary in the late 1930s and later served in World War II. And thank God he did because he ultimately met and married a young French bride, my great-grandmother, Therese. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be here if he didn’t!
And in light of this past election, specifically the Proposal 3 results, it's hard not to reflect on the trajectory of our country and its distorted notions of freedom and bravery.
My great-grandfather didn’t serve so that we could misinterpret what it means to be free, so much so we now think freedom means the ability to kill the most innocent among us. He didn’t bravely serve in WWII so that men in the future could be cowards, coercing the women they have impregnated to abort their children or abandon them when they need them most. He didn’t serve against the Nazis who were murdering generations of dehumanized human beings so that we could dehumanize future generations and justify the murder of millions of them.
So in light of this, I am calling upon all those who are concerned about the trajectory of our country to consider a simple, respectful and prayerful gesture during every playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner." When our national anthem ends with the last lines “O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free And the home of the brave,” would you consider bowing?
Not only does our country need serious prayers, but I think we can bow with a few things in mind. First, we should bow for all the women who are being deceived about what it means to be free and subsequently harmed by abortion. Many, behind closed doors, are shackled by the guilt they feel about ending the lives of their children and long for the freedom that only comes through forgiveness and spiritual healing. Secondly, we can bow for those who gave their lives in service to our country, the brave who are rolling over in their grave as we condone the killing of our future generations. And, finally, we bow for the babies, the babies in the womb who are being dehumanized and destroyed by the millions due to our laws and lack of love for our fellow human beings.
So whether you are a CYO basketball player on the sidelines before your game or a fan in the stands at your favorite sports arena this winter, I ask that you bow for the babies.
We know that we have a long way to go before America earns back the title “land of the free and home of the brave,” but we can pray in this very simple way that it eventually does.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Letter: Consider bowing during the national anthem