Several hundred people, some dressed in military uniforms, joined in the Christ Cathedral Memorial Gardens Memorial Day Prayer Service on Monday. The interfaith service brought together those who wanted to pay their respects to the men and women who lost their lives protecting our freedom.
The 11 a.m. ceremony began in the Arboretum at Christ Cathedral with prayer, remembrance and music.
“With love, grace and reflection, let us honor our fallen Americans,” Pastor Jim Kok, the former Director of Care Ministry for the Crystal Cathedral Congregation of Garden Grove told the crowd. He then read a proclamation signed by President Barack Obama that called for our country to be united in a national moment of remembrance on this day.
A rousing rendition of “God Bless America” had those attending singing, while a more solemn version of Psalm 23 was then sung by the choir.
Fr. Christopher Smith, rector at Christ Cathedral, stressed that the event was intended to offer “words of comfort” to those who continue to mourn the loss of a loved one.
“Jesus died,” he said, “and broke through the power of death. Those who have died for our country have produced freedom and life for us.”
After the service in the Arboretum, the crowd processed to the Christ Cathedral Memorial Gardens, led by a color guard and a bagpipe player. There, more prayers were offered, along with a 21 gun salute and the release of white doves. Finally a patriotic carillon concert concluded the services.