Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address On January 20, 1981:
Each one of those markers (At Arlington National Cemetery) is a monument to the kinds of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.
Under one such marker lies a young man—Martin Treptow—who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.
Brothers of the District.
I wanted to drop you a note to wish you all a Blessed and Holy Christmas. During this time of the year we take stock of what our Lord and God has provided. All we have to do is look around and we see good friends, loved ones and family. What a blessing those gifts are. We also, during this time, look forward to the prospects of a new year. What does our Lord have in store for us this upcoming year? We have to ask what will be the good or the challenging, and how will we be touched. It is truly a Glorious time! I will tell you one of the most treasured gifts I have received is this District family, and the friendship I have with you, my Brother Knights. Many organizations call themselves brothers, but here in this group I know we mean it. We are a true family, pulling together for a greater good making this world a better place. Our mission, as Sir Knights, is focused on the Patriotic, but our Order has a much wider scope. That scope is to touch all God's people in a positive way. This is the true meaning of Christmas.
Here is my wish for you and your family: I pray that you in your own way find room to reach someone who is troubled during this Holy season. Remember this time of the year isn't always easy for many. Some, even within our own Knights family, find it difficult to see the hope that Christmas brings. Whether it be money issues, a loss of a family member, or just the challenges of life many struggle to realize that God has a plan for us. So with that here is my hope and wish for you. Reach out to a Brother Knight a neighbor, coworker, or friend and help them see this meaning of this season through you.
Lastly, and most importantly, I would also like to ask you remember those heroes of our Nation who are unable to be with their families, because that are protecting our freedoms around the world. Those men and women are providing us daily with the ultimate gift FREEDOM.
Our heavenly and most wonderful Creator, we humbly come before you with heavy hearts on behalf of our most precious Americans, our military soldiers. You ask that we trust in You to ask for those things that are not in our power to grant. You already know what we are going to ask, but we do so with love and respect for You are the ultimate granter of all prayers.
For Christmas we ask for protection for our soldiers. Our soldiers are lonely and away from their families and away from a nation they love with all their hearts. Give our soldiers peace in their hearts, peace of mind, bravery and courage to fight, protect them from harm. Help them to stay safe, go before them send their guardian angels to warn them of dangers when they are on patrol. Give them adequate rest, food, water, keep them whole in spirit and have them keep their eyes on You.
Provide good military leaders to guide and do what is right and safe for our soldiers. Provide our soldiers with equipment that work continually and not break down especially when they are kept down by those who want to destroy or ambush them. Give our soldiers extra sense from every danger lurking in the dark or around the corner. Provide them with extra strength and foresight to be alert at all times and ready for anything that is extraordinary.
Finally, protect and keep our soldier's families safe so that their loved ones do not worry about them when they are in battle. Give our soldiers time to write email or contact their families through phone calls or computers to at least be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus as a family unit. Give us victory very soon, please end these wars soon, and return your precious children back to live in our nation with their families. Keep the soldiers whole and protected from the dangers of outside forces. We are also asking for Your comforting love for the families of soldiers that have passed on during these two wars, and fast healing for those disabled in battles.
Also Dear Precious Lord, bless this nation from those Americans who want to destroy what You have built up in our Constitution. As our nation fights the depressed economy, bless those who want to find work to provide for their family. Keep this nation strong, safe, always to believe and trust in You, our most loving Creator and God. These things we ask in Your precious Son's name, Jesus. Amen........
May God Bless our Military, May God Bless you and your family, and May God Bless our great Nation
From John, Gloria, Mandy, Kassie, Rachel, Cynthia, and Anthony we wish you a very Merry and Holy Christmas, and a Blessed New year.
To the Faithful Sir Knights of the Archdiocese of Washington District
Brothers, late yesterday evening I received notice of the Master’s appointment. I am deeply honored with the opportunity to serve as Master for the next two years. It has truly been one of the most rewarding times of my life serving these last two years. Looking forward, I think our best is yet to come.
I want to thank both of my co-nominees SK Mike Thumm, and SK Mike Lynch. Your contribution to the District and the Order is well known and highly appreciated by myself as well as the Vice Supreme Master and the Supreme Master.
I also want to thank the dedicated brother Sir Knights who have served on the District team. You have provided the time and energy to begin the face lift of the 4th Degree. We have stated from the very beginning that we wanted to build an organization that is known as much for our good works as we are for our fine Color Corps. We will continue to build on that work while building on the finest Color Corps in the Order. I ask each member of the District team to reevaluate what we have done and what is still to do, and to further recommit yourself, as I have, to getting the job done. This is our opportunity to leave an indelible positive mark on our Order. At the end of this term, it is my hope that my successors will say we made a difference.
Most importantly, to the Faithful Navigators both past and current, THANK YOU. You will likely never know much I appreciate what you have done and will do. You are where the rubber meets the road when it comes to making a difference. Without you and your members none of what we have done, or will do, could be possible.
In conclusion, I want to re-state how honored I am to be re-appointed to be the Master of AWD. This is truly the finest group of people I have ever been associated with. You have my word that I will work to earn your support and loyalty.
Now Let Set Forth To Do The Great Work Laid Out For Us!
Fraternally Yours in Patriotic Service,
SK John F. Winfrey, FDD, PGK, PFN
Master of the Fourth Degree
There is an old saying, "A journey starts with one step". As we start this new Fraternal Year, our Assemblies and Councils are continuing a journey that began many years ago. As we think back over the course of our journey we can remember the people we touched and helped along the way. It is safe to say that we have made a significant and positive impact in people's lives, and furthermore we have helped our little corner of the world be a better place. Now it is our responsibility to continue that work. It is now our duty to take up the torch, and continue the mission set forth by our predecessors. The path we have ahead of us will have bumps and unexpected obstacles we will need to contend with; our faith will guide us.
Our Councils and Assemblies have evolved, and will continue to evolve. This year as with every year we should refocus our efforts on things that will benefit our Church, and our community. Every Assembly and Council should review the projects they have supported in the past to determine if they meet our refocused missions. Each new Faithful Navigator and Grand Knight should put their signature on the missions of their respective groups, keeping always in sight our overall mission as Knights of supporting our church, communities and our country. Let's take our Assemblies and Councils up one notch. Let raise the bar just a little. At the end of our terms I pray we can all say we left our organizations better then we found them. With the power of the Holy Spirit nothing is out of our reach.
May God bless you and your families,
SK John Winfrey
Master of the Fourth Degree
Archdiocese of Washington District
As I sit here writing this article we are about two weeks out from the Exemplification. I must tell you the excitement is building and so are the butterflies. All the preparations are moving forward for a fantastic weekend. The karaoke machine is getting warmed up and I hope so are your singing voices. Although we are still tallying up the number of candidates we are expecting a very good class. I cannot be prouder of the effort put forth by each and every Assembly. I know a level of effort that is requires by the Faithful Navigators and the assembly teams to pull this off and I am ever so grateful for all your efforts.
The Exemplification every year offers us an opportunity to share the Knights Of Columbus Fourth Degree experience to an entirely new group of brothers and their families. When a man joins the Fourth Degree he joins a fraternity of extremely dedicated and passionate Catholic American. He has an opportunity to put that passion for his country and his church to work. The Fourth Degree has long been known for the Honor Guard and that is an aspect we’re extremely proud of. However if a brother only sees the Fourth Degree as Color Corp he is missing half of the equation. The Fourth Degree is much more than that. Our service to our country and to our church is only limited by our imagination. Whether it be distributing wheelchairs to our American Heroes at the VA hospitals or sponsoring voter registration events a Sir Knight of the Fourth Degree demonstrates his love for country and church every day.
When a brother joins the Knights Of Columbus of the first degree member he is provided the passport to the next level. This is true for every degree. I would offer that there’s a passport to the 4th Degree and the passport resides in the heart of each perspective Sir Knight. If he has the burning desire to serve our great Nation and our Holy Church then he does in fact have the primary qualification of a successful Sir Knight If this is you I encourage you to reach out to us and learn more about us and our mission.
SK John Winfrey
Archdiocesan of Washington District