Published December 6, 2018
MONROE—On Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, St. Anna Church in Monroe honored its congregation’s military veterans by dedicating a Veterans Wall of Honor.
In a project spearheaded by the Knights of Columbus, Council 14425, the church’s parishioners submitted over 200 photos of their families’ military veterans. The Knights processed, printed, framed and displayed the pictures on the Wall of Honor for the congregation to review.
The St. Anna Color Guard, comprised of military veterans in uniform, placed the American ﬂag on the altar, and the congregation recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Dignitaries from Georgia’s State Knights of Columbus and all veterans present were recognized. The offertory gifts were brought to the altar by veterans.
Robert Costantino, a Knight and veteran, discussed his personal perspective for service in the military and related how today’s citizens must support the nation by volunteering for service consistent with its defense needs and the maintenance of freedoms. All veterans were asked to stand to receive a special blessing from Father Dan Toof, the pastor.
A reception followed in the parish hall. Special recognition was given to St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Snellville, particularly the family of Ken Carson for bringing the veterans wall concept to St. Anna and lending the wall previously used at their parish.
The Knights of Columbus managed the Wall of Honor project by establishing a website to gather photos, family and veterans’ information. All military services were represented—Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. Parishioners submitted the names and pictures of their family veterans, to include rank, relationship and current service status including awards. The framed photos were displayed on the wall in alphabetical order, along with a veterans register album showing each veteran’s picture, service, rank, special awards received, along with the parishioner’s name and relationship.
Father Toof thanked the members of the Knights of Columbus for this service project in support of the parish. “Freedom is not Free,” he remarked after the celebration.
The priest expressed his delight to see the parish community get so involved in this endeavor. Parishioners spent a lot of time together in front of the wall sharing their loved ones’ stories. St. Anna’s Veterans Wall of Honor was displayed in the narthex of the church for three weeks.