In our 238 years fighting as a country we have lost 1,321,612 men and women in our wars and major deployments. On this Memorial Day, we pray for the 1.3+ million soldiers who gave the ultimate price for our freedom and the 40+ million who have and continue to protect our freedom by serving in our military. Words will never be enough but we want to say THANK YOU!
God of love and justice, it is your will that we live together in peace. Yet we live in a world in which war often seems inevitable. May we recognize with humility and sadness the tragic loss of life that comes in war. And as we enjoy freedom, we give thanks for those who have served with courage and honor; for those who resist evil and preserve justice.
We give thanks for those that are willing to serve. Let all soldiers everywhere serve with honor, pride, and compassion. Do not let their hearts be hardened by the actions they must take. Strengthen their families and keep them surrounded and guided by your love. We thank you for those that put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety. Let us all be inspired by their self-sacrifice in service to those who need protection.
We give thanks for all who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We ask that you be with those in pain from their loss and keep us mindful that you promised to comfort all who mourn and help us to be a comfort to them as well.
And by your grace, may we have the strength and courage to truly honor those who have served by working for peace. May we see in them not only their courage, but also our own call to work for a world that no longer sacrifices life in the quest for peace; that we might envision in our hearts and work in our lives toward that which you have promised through the prophet Isaiah: that day when swords will be beaten into plough shares and spears into pruning hooks, that day when nation shall not rise up against nation, and that day when we shall not learn war any more. Amen.
-Prayer from the website for St. John’s in McCloud, MN