I always get sappy on American holidays. Call me silly, call me dumb, call me sentimental, old fashioned, or even patriotic—I’m a bit of all of it.
I cry every anniversary of June 6, when my uncle was killed on the D-Day Invasion. My dad served over 20 years in the United States Navy, and he encouraged me to watch American war films to teach us about the men and women who served and died. My husband serves in the United States Coast Guard, keeping our borders and homeland safe. My baby brother left home to serve his country and my other brother keeps our state safe as a police officer. My two cousins (brothers) served the same time in the Middle East after 9/11. My ancestors have served in every war since the Revolutionary War, and my family are proud American’s who pioneered the land since the late 1600’s.
Today, in 2018, everyone is unhappy with America. Politics are more divisive than ever. But for one day this year, I don’t want to focus on all the things that are wrong with America. There are a lot of good things that come out of our nation. Can we challenge ourselves to be proud of the many things it does produce? I love my country, and today I want to remember the men who put their lives on the line to write that very monumental Document.
Today my favorite thing about my country is this prayer. It was prayed to the men who started the first Continental Congress. It was prayed over a group of Baptists, Quakers, Episcopalians, Methodists, and other denominations who believed differently about worship, but found unity in a prayer that launched the greatest nation forward.
O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!
Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.
Reverend Jacob Duché
Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
September 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m.
Today, don’t focus on the negative, the hate, the differences of opinion. Let’s say a prayer of thanksgiving for the men and women who loved this nation enough to do something about it. Our lives, homes, family, and income are worth the price for freedom.