Serving Those Who Serve
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson received the Medal of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, (AMS) in recognition of his and the Knights of Columbus’ support for members of the U.S. armed forces. The medal was presented by Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the AMS at the archdiocese’s annual benefit Nov. 18 at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.
For nearly three decades the Knights of Columbus and the AMS have worked together to serve the men and women of the armed forces.
“There is no other partnership like that between the AMS and the Knights of Columbus in support of the mission, ‘Serving Those Who Serve,’” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio.
“I am deeply grateful to Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, for the recognition of the Knights of Columbus and my brother Knights’ service to our military chaplains,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “The award of the Archdiocese Medal this year is especially significant as the Knights of Columbus commemorates 100 years of support of our military and our military chaplains.”
In his remarks, the supreme knight quoted Stephen Ambrose, a historian of World War II who in his last book, To America, said “in my interviews with World War II veterans, they sometimes tell me that the reason they fought was they had learned as children the difference between right and wrong and they didn’t want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed, so they fought.”
The supreme knight then asked where the moral compass comes from to discern right from wrong and where the moral courage comes from to defend what we know to be right.
“Those of us who have had the privilege of working alongside the Archdiocese for the Military Services know very well the answer to those questions,” he said. “We have seen the impact on our troops of distributing 600,000 military prayer books.”
He added, “We have seen the dedication of our priests serving as chaplains throughout the world. We have been inspired by the sacrifice and courage of our wounded warriors and their families at on pilgrimage to the Shrine at Lourdes. It is for these reasons and more that the Knights of Columbus is so proud to begin our second century of support of our military and our chaplains.”
Since 1998, the Knights of Columbus have contributed more than $2.5 million to the AMS, in support of its many programs and services. Some of these initiatives include the co-sponsored Seminarian Program, the annual benefit, the International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes, and most recently, funding for the first Catholic Military Marriage Retreat.
The Medal of the Archdiocese for the Military Services is the archdiocese’s highest award. For a candidate to qualify, two important elements must be met: (1) the candidate’s contributions to the AMS religious program must be outstanding, without recompense, over an extended period of time, and they must clearly surpass the contributions of all others; and (2) the candidate’s character, behavior and reputation must be outstanding in all respects and motivated by religious values.
For more than 135 years, from the founding members of the Knights who were Civil War veterans to the current Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage, the Knights of Columbus has stood in support of the men and women of the armed forces of the countries in which it exists. During that time, the Knights have provided for the spiritual and temporal well-being of our military personnel, a work of service that has continued to this day.