DeMint to Introduce Resolution to Make June 6th National Day of Prayer for the US Armed Forces and Their Mission
Today, Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) announced that he will introduce a Senate Resolution to declare June 6th as an annual national day of prayer and rededication for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces and their mission. The resolution recognizes our proud military history and would require that President Roosevelt's D-Day radio prayer be read aloud in Congress each June 6th.
"The liberty Americans enjoy is due to the great sacrifice and courage of our brave fighting men and women," said Senator DeMint. "Throughout history, American armed forces have fought to defend freedom and it is important that our nation pause and pray for their continued safety and victory in battle. Today, our troops carry on that tradition at home and abroad by training and fighting to keep our country safe. President Roosevelt's prayer continues to inspire and it's an appropriate reminder of the debt we owe our military and the dangers they face."
Below is the text of the resolution:
A RESOLUTION TO DECLARE EACH JUNE 6th A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND REDEDICATION FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AND THEIR MISSION
WHEREAS, public prayer and national days of prayer are a long-standing American tradition to bolster national resolve and summon the national will for victory;
WHEREAS, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation in 1775;
WHEREAS, Benjamin Franklin proposed that the Constitutional Convention begin each day with a prayer;
WHEREAS, General George Washington, as he prepared his troops for battle with the British in May 1776, ordered them to pray for the campaign ahead, that it would please the Almighty to "prosper the arms of the united colonies" and "establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid and lasting foundation";
WHEREAS, President Abraham Lincoln, in declaring in the Gettysburg Address "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom", rededicated the nation to ensuring "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth";
WHEREAS, as 73,000 Americans stormed the beaches at Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt went on national radio to lead the nation in prayer for their success;
WHEREAS, in his D-Day radio prayer, President Roosevelt did not declare a single day of special prayer, but instead compelled all Americans to "devote themselves in a continuance of prayer";
WHEREAS, the words of President Roosevelt that called on all Americans to "devote themselves in a continuance of prayer" for American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in harm's way are just as appropriate today as they were in June 1944;
WHEREAS, with our troops once again facing danger abroad and nation looking for support here at home, the time is ripe to once again heed the words and prayerful wisdom contained in the D-Day radio address of the 20th century's greatest Democrat president as he implored the nation: "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";
WHEREAS, more than 350,000 men and women of the United States armed forces are deployed worldwide today;
WHEREAS, more than 200,000 of these troops are engaged in armed combat in Iraq and Afghanistan against determined and ruthless enemies;
WHEREAS, more than 3,800 brave Americans have been killed, and over 26,000 have been wounded, while fighting the War on Terror;
WHEREAS, because the War on Terror will be long and hard, because success is not likely to come with rushing speed, and because the sacrifice will continue to be immeasurable in human terms, it is appropriate to make every anniversary of D-Day - June 6th - a national day of prayer and rededication for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their mission; and
WHEREAS, the D-Day radio address of President Roosevelt is the inspiration and model for this annual national day of prayer and rededication.
BE IT RESOLVED, by the United States Senate of the One Hundred Tenth Congress of the United States, the House of Representatives concurring herein: That we, the members of the One Hundred Tenth Congress, hereby declare that every June 6th will hereafter be a national day of prayer and rededication for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their mission;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in encouraging our fellow Americans to join us in this national day of prayer and rededication for our troops and their mission, that each of the Senate and the House will designate one of its members to read aloud in the Senate and House chambers each June 6th, in its entirety, President Roosevelt's D-Day radio prayer, as follows:
"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 keenness 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.