Theologically and philosophically informed ecletic ruminations on everything between summit to shore, especially cycling, hiking and backpacking, kayaking, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, poetry, and creative writing by John Edward Harris, a progressive Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of Word and Sacrament (now called "Teaching Elders").
have given their lives on the land, in the air, and upon the sea
defense of our freedom and liberty,
from the minutemen killed at
Lexington or Concord,
to the brothers killed from both the
North and South in the Civil War,
from the greatest generation who
gave their lives during World War II,
to the Active Duty troops and
National Guard men and women
killed in Iraq and
we remember and memorialize those who have died,
may the day serve to memorialize
them not through words engraved into stone
but gratitude burned into ourhearts and minds.
of earth, sea, and sky,
we also pray that you will guard the
brave women and men
who are this very moment risking their
lives for our country
as they serve in foreign lands.
them compassion for enemies who also fight for patriotic causes.
keep our sons and daughters,
our husbands and wives,
and our brothers and sisters
from hate that hardens,
or from scorekeeping with human
they must be at war, let them live for peace,
as eager for agreement as for
them as they encourage one another,
and never let hard duty separate
from loyalty to your Son, our Lord,
Jesus the Christ.
Note:I have been using this prayer for some time,
slightly redacted every year.I have
been using it so long that I have perhaps lost touch with some its original
sources.There are obvious allusions to
the Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”, #562 in The Presbyterian Hymnal, as well as phrasing drawn from a prayer
“For Those in the Military” #65 page818
in the Presbyterian Book of Common