St. Augustine Catholic
Everyone's Mother
Duty Under Fire
Road to Financial Freedom

in this issue... 
editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
theology 101
your marriage matters
spiritual fitness
parish profile
around the diocese
work life
catholic news
calendar of events

editor's notes
honoring our veterans

In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, an armistice was signed by Germany. The “war to end all wars” was over. In 1921, an unknown World War I

American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arch de Triomphe).

These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m.

President Woodrow Wilson first commemorated Armistice Day in the United States in 1919, and many states made it a legal holiday. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 inviting all Americans to observe the day, and made it a legal holiday nationwide in 1938. The holiday has been observed annually on November 11 since that date – first as Armistice Day, later as Veteran’s Day – except for a brief period when it was celebrated on the fourth Monday of October.

The day has since evolved as a time for honoring living veterans who have served in the military during wartime or peacetime, partially to complement Memorial Day, which primarily honors the dead.

This issue is dedicated to all the men and women of our military who have fought for our country. I especially want to recognize the troops that continue to fight for our freedoms and the human rights of others in Iraq and other hotspots of the world. Our cover story focuses on a World War II veteran, retired Rear Adm. Ferdinand Berley. Dr. Berley served as a Naval Medical Officer during the fierce, bloody battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines. He survived the battles in the Philippines, but later faced the horrors of life as prisoner of the Japanese military. Dr. Berley was a POW for three and a half years. During that time, he lost about 50 pounds and weighed a mere 110 pounds when he was rescued in June 1945. “If it had not been for the atomic bomb we would have all been killed,” said Dr. Berley in an interview. Just before the bombing raid on Japan, he said the Japanese had issued orders to kill all POW’s.

Historian Charles Gallagher, S.J., a former archivist of the Diocese of Saint Augustine and now in formation for the Jesuits in London, does a beautiful job of recounting the main events of World War II’s battle in the Pacific. Our story could have filled many pages of this issue! For a fuller read, I recommend that you purchase Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese (1941-1945) by John A. Glusman. Dr. Berley is one of the four American doctors that the book is written about. His story and those of his comrades is gripping and serves as a reminder of the toll that war takes and the sacrifices American soldiers have made to help secure the freedoms we all enjoy in this country.

On November 11 – Veteran’s Day – don’t forget to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the brave men and women of our military! – Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor

Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor