“Jesus said, ‘No greater love is there than to lay down one’s life for a friend,’” the archbishop told hundreds of worshippers during the annual Memorial Day Mass at Santa Clara Cemetery and Mausoleum in Oxnard. “The people we remember today were people of great love, people who thought not of themselves but of their families, friends and the people and ideals of this country they loved and served.“These men and women trusted in God, and made God their refuge and fortress. And so today we ask God to raise up in joy all who have died in serving the United States.”The outdoor observance at Santa Clara was one of 11 Memorial Day Masses coordinated by Catholic Cemeteries of Los Angeles. Others (with bishops and priests of the archdiocese presiding) were celebrated at All Souls, Long Beach; Assumption, Simi Valley; Calvary, Los Angeles; Calvary, Santa Barbara; Good Shepherd, Lancaster; Holy Cross, Culver City; Holy Cross, Pomona; Queen of Heaven, Rowland Heights; Resurrection, Montebello; and San Fernando Mission, Mission Hills.At Santa Clara, Archbishop Gomez noted sadly that the U.S. is at war today, even though “God calls us to ways that serve love and peace.” Therefore, he said, it is necessary that “we pray for those serving our country; for wisdom for our leaders; for the integrity of our people; for the innocent victims of war; and for just and lasting peace for every nation.”And he urged those in attendance to honor those who have given their lives for the cause of peace by living their lives as people of peace.“Peace starts in our hearts, by making sure that God is present in our lives, and by recognizing that every person is a child of God,” he said. “Let us try to be less selfish in our lives, to give more importance to God and others than to ourselves, to make time to pray and to do service for one another.“The more we spread peace in our own lives, the more we spread peace for others in the world. As we remember the faith of those who have served and died, let us seek to grow in that same humble faith of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2011/0603/sbmemday/{/gallery}