Friday, June 06, 2008

For those who paid the price

Sixty-seven years ago, on this day, over 3,300 American men (boys, really) paid for the liberty of peoples they'd never met (not only France or Europe, but us). They stormed into the jaws of hell, and kept going because so much was riding on their shoulders. I have been privileged to know men of that generation - boys and men who laid down their birthright as citizens to pursue their life and their happiness. They put down their briefcases, school satchels, footballs, hammers, hoes, and dreams - placing them on indefinite (and for so many, permanent) hiatus - in order to secure the blessings of liberty for them and their posterity. So thank you Fred, Art, Jim, Ed, Dick, Howard, and so many others for letting me breathe free.

If you know a veteran of that war, do them a kindness today. Mow a lawn, buy some groceries, sweep a driveway. Don't wait...we won't have them with us much longer. They will soon be with that Band of Brothers that didn't come home.It doesn't have to be much - and next to what they did, it will be less than nothing. But I guarantee you that they'll thank you as though you've done them a great service. Why? Because they understood liberty and fought so that we would not be serfs - and they understand that the freedom they bought for us was freedom to both fail and succeed in this life, apart from a government's watchful eye. (Remember, they defeated National Socialism - and many of them continued the fight against communism.)

Today, America's finest citizens are still doing the same. Like those of the "great generation", they refuse to take their freedoms lightly - and they won't stand idly by while the freedoms of others are trampled. My prayer for them is the same as FDR offered for our boys so many years ago.

Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings their road will be long and hard, for the enemy is strong he may hurl back our forces success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again. And we know that by Thy grace and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried by night and by day, without rest until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame, men's souls will be shaken with the violence's of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest, they fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate, they fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return, embrace these, Father, and receive them Thy heroic servants into thy kingdom.

And for us at home, fathers, mothers, children, wives sisters and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them. Help us, almighty God, to rededicate ourselves with renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long, and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts. Give us strength too, strength in our daily task, redouble the contributions we make in the physical and material support of our armed forces. And let our harts be stout, to wait out the long travail, forbear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons where so ever they may be.

And, oh Lord, give us faith; give us faith in Thee, faith in our sons, faith in each other, faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impact of temporary events, of temporal matters, of fleeting moments, let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to a saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace. A peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men, and a peace which will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, almighty God. Amen.

Click here to listen to him pray it. Then thank God that the ACLU of that day still understood that a citizen who holds office doesn't lose his 1st Amendment rights the moment he accepts US dollars for his job. We will not forget what you did for us.

Well . . . some people will, but then again, that type has a habit of forgetting people that make sacrifices on their behalf.

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