I've been asked to provide the invocation and benediction for my community's Pearl Harbor Day observance. It's an honor that I don't take lightly. As an offspring of an Army Air Corps veteran and the grandson of a soldier injured in WWI, I understand the meaning of military service for one's country. The examples of my father and grandfather, as well as my wife's father, a combat engineer in Germany, enabled me to answer my country's call to serve as a combat officer in Vietnam. My desire is that all our nation's brave men and women in uniform will be honored for their sacrificial service.
Heavenly Father, we gather today in remembrance. On this day we remember the shock of an infamous, unprovoked attack. But we also remember the resolve and courage of a nation that knew it must stand and fight for its cherished values.
Today, on this 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we honor the memories of the 2400 brave Americans who gave their lives, as well as all those who stood in our defense.
This day of remembrance is a time look back and recount their sacrifice for the cause of freedom.
But we also must look forward and ask for your grace and guidance as we face another foe in the form of radical Muslim terrorists bent on our destruction.
Let us also look inward to find the character and courage to stand for the life and liberty with which you have endowed us.
Finally, Lord, we look upward in praise and thanksgiving as we acknowledge that you have shed your grace on us.
May all we say and do today bring honor to those who have so nobly served, and bring glory to your Holy Name. Amen.
Again, Father, we thank you for this occasion to pause and remember these heroes. Help us to draw courage from the example of the brave Americans we honor.
As we go from here, may we be ever vigilant and ever valiant. Steel us to stand, Father, for this land and this lighthouse that is the United States of America.
As in the words of these great hymns of faith, we pray “Guide us, O Thou Great Jehovah,” and we ask that you grant us wisdom and courage for the facing of this hour.
I ask all this in the name of your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.