Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day.” It was a day of remembrance, honoring those who had died while in service to our nation.
General John Logan proclaimed Memorial Day on May 5, 1868. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, with flowers placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Congress did not make it a National Holiday until 1971.
On this celebration of Memorial Day, take some time to give thanks to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Say a prayer for the families of our service men and women, that they be guided by God’s love and given the strength to carry on while their loved ones are protecting the freedom of everyone in this great country.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1882)
Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense”.
Saturday, May 19, 2012 is Armed Forces Day. Let us all take a moment to appreciate the many men and women who serve in the US Military today.
Read more about the history of Armed Forces Day here: http://www.defense.gov/afd/history.aspx.
HAYS Cleaning was just traveling west down 99th Street, through the Beverly neighborhood. We were admiring the abundant community support of our fallen Marine Cpl. Conner Lowry with Red,White and Blue displays in many, many yards and lining the streets. To the Family of Cpl. Lowry, We lift you in prayer.
Cpl. Lowey was killed on March 1, 2012, in Afghanistan. Visit the Facebook page for Cpl. Lowry here: https://www.facebook.com/ripcorporallowry
The Final Inspection
The Marine stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass;
He hoped his shoes were shining bright,
Just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?”
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t;
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough;
I’ve had to break your rules my Lord,
Because the world is awfully tough.
But, I never took a thing
That wasn’t mine to keep;
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear;
And sometimes … God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here;
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand;
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints often trod;
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
“Step forward now, soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well;
Come walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in HELL!”
~ Author: Sgt.Joshua Helterbran ~
Today, 13 more American Troops were killed in Afghanistan. As we pray for them, and their families, we would also like to pray for the rest of our troops overseas.
O Prince of Peace, we humbly ask Your protection for all out men and women in military service. Give them unflinching courage to defend with honor, dignity and devotion the rights of all who are imperiled by injustice and evil. Guard our churches, our homes, our schools, our hospitals, our factories, our buildings and all those within from harm and peril. Protect our land and its peoples from enemies within and without. Grant an early peace with victory founded upon justice. Instill in the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and good will toward all. Amen.