Patriotism


This Saturday is Veterans Day. Our Post will again be marching in Saturday’s parade at 9:30am.

I’m sometimes asked why I bother to get dressed up in a shirt and tie, put on my cover and march in the cold (and sometimes rain or snow.)

To be honest, I don’t enjoy marching. Not because of the weather or the distance or the time from my day it requires (which isn’t a lot anyway.) It’s because the crowds lining the streets applaud us (the Sons) as much as they do the Veterans who march. We don’t come close to deserving that kind of recognition, but all they see is the Flag and men wearing covers and I think they assume we’re Veterans as well. I know too well just what kind of sacrifice Veterans have made and it makes me uncomfortable to be mistaken for one.

But, I march anyway. I march because there are a lot of men who never came back. Men who never had the sons they thought they would. And since those sons will never have a chance to march and honor their fathers, this Saturday morning I’ll hoist a flag or help carry a banner or just try to stay in step with my fellow Sons.

I’d love it if you’d come downtown and join me in honor the brave men and women who’ve defended our country. The parade starts at the intersection of Michigan and Division Avenue and runs south to Fulton and then goes east to Veterans Park. We step off at 9:30am.

Although our next meeting isn’t until Sept. 6 (7:30pm), I’m always on the lookout for new opening and closing prayers. These, however, are actually old prayers from the Episcopalian 1928 Common Book of Prayer. Thanks to SeeDubya at Junkyardblog for pointing out this great resource.

 

Independence Day.
July 4.
The Collect.

O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For Our Country.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

A Prayer for The President of the United States,

and all in Civil Authority.

O LORD, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour to behold and bless thy servant THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For the Army.

O LORD God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers of our country; Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For the Navy.

O ETERNAL Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens, and rulest the raging of the sea; Vouchsafe to take into thy almighty and most gracious protection our country’s Navy, and all who serve therein. Preserve them from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy; that they may be a safeguard unto the United States of America, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our land may in peace and quietness serve thee our God, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For a Person, or Persons, going to Sea.

O ETERNAL God, who alone spreadest out the heavens, and rulest the raging of the sea; We commend to thy almighty protection, thy servant, for whose preservation on the great deep our prayers are desired. Guard him, we beseech thee, from the dangers of the sea, from sickness, from the violence of enemies, and from every evil to which he may be exposed. Conduct him in safety to the haven where he would be, with a grateful sense of thy mercies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Memorial Days.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

 

In Time of War and Tumults.

ALMIGHTY God, the supreme Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For Social Justice.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast created man in thine own image; Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among men and nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

On the evening of June 6, 1944, after Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, losing 2500 men killed and some 8500 wounded, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the following prayer while addressing the nation by radio:

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

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 violences 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 in 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 tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O 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 keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — 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 the 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 that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – June 6, 1944

An audio clip of FDR's radio address can be found here.

UPDATE:

Lots more great posts on D-Day over at Blackfive.

Tomorrow is the 62nd anniversary of D-Day.

Thank a vet when you see one.

Tonight was the annual Memorial Day parade through downtown Grand Rapids. We had fewer marchers than normal, and the crowds along the sidewalk weren't as big as they've been in the past. I think that was probably because of the strong thunderstorms we had this afternoon and the fact the parade was Tuesday evening rather than Monday morning.

Our route takes us south down Division Ave from the I-196 overpass to Fulton St and then into Veterans Park.

[Click to see the full size image.]

Marching.jpg

Turning-onto-Fulton.jpg

Patriotism.jpg

Furling-the-Flag.jpg

Furling-the-Flag-2.jpg

Furling-the-Flag-3.jpg