St. Paul the Apostle Parish honors veterans during Mass in Bangor

With words of thanks, a special blessing, and the playing of “Taps,” members of St. Paul the Apostle Parish paid tribute to veterans during a Mass celebrated on Sunday, November 12, at St. John Church in Bangor.

Servicemen and women were posted at all the church’s doors to greet parishioners and recognize veterans as they arrived, and before the Mass began, veterans and their spouses were invited to stand to be honored and thanked.

"It is an honor for us to pay tribute today to those who have dedicated usually the prime of their lives to serve the U.S. military," said L/Cdr DC, USNR Shaun Dowd, who spoke about the importance of honoring those who served. “There are Purple Hearts among us in this church today."

Reservists, cooks, supply truck drivers, medical personnel, chaplains, and those who fought and who died fighting were among those to whom Dowd expressed his thanks on behalf of the parish community.

“God bless the United States of America and all those who served in any capacity in the military, especially those who gave their last measure of devotion. With deep humility, respect, and prayers of profound gratitude, we remember and revere all of them,” he said. “Let us also remember those at home who hoped and prayed desperately for the safety of their spouse, or son or daughter, who was deployed in harm's way, and we pray for the veterans at home who continue to struggle with the physical and mental wounds of war.”

During the Mass, Father Bruce Siket, parochial vicar of St. Paul the Apostle Parish, gave a special blessing to veterans and active servicemen and women and their families, and at the Mass’s conclusion, parishioners gathered outside for the playing of “Taps” by Col. John Thomas, USAF (Ret.).

Gathering outside for the playing of "Taps"
Shaking hands with a veteran