As the nation pauses this month to honor its military veterans on Nov. 11, Catholic Cemeteries of Buffalo is doing its part through the Veterans Memorial Plaza in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kenmore and the Thank A Vet program.
On the plaza, flags representing every branch of service fly alongside the Stars and Stripes, with a granite memorial bearing the names of deceased veterans guarded over by a state of St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the military.
An outdoor Mass is celebrated annually during Memorial Day weekend at the altar, which is located at the top of a raised platform in the plaza, overlooking the St. Michael the Archangel Shrine burial section which is available for veterans, their spouses and immediate family.
Catholic Cemeteries also participates in the Thank A Vet program, sponsored by Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs and Niagara County Clerk Wayne Jagow.
This complementary program is a way to recognize local veterans for their service and sacrifice. It is available to any Erie County or Niagara County veteran who files their original military discharge/separation forms/certificates (this includes DD-214, DD-256, NGB-22, etc.) with their local County Clerk's office.
With a Thank A Vet card, veterans will receive a 20 percent discount on all services from Catholic Cemeteries of Buffalo.
"We are grateful for the service of these brave men and women who have nobly served our nation," said Carmen Colao, diocesan director of Catholic Cemeteries of Buffalo. "Through our Veterans Memorial and our partnership with the county clerks in Erie and Niagara counties, we are able to express our gratitude to them."
For more information on honoring a loved one by having their name inspired on the Veterans Memorial, and for veteran burial options call 716-875-6500.