This morning I will be offering the invocation and benediction at a Memorial Day Observance in the city of Troy, Michigan. In this prayer I seek to honor the memory of those who died in service to country, even as I offer a prayer for peace. This is the invocation that will begin the observance.
God of peace,
We come here today to remember women and men who gave their lives in service to this country. We remember them and their sacrifice with grateful hearts.
We also come to this place to remember loved ones who have died and no longer walk with us. They may not have died in service to country, but they have come to our minds and hearts this day. We give thanks for their lives and their influence on our lives.
We not only gather to remember those who have died, we also wish to remember families left behind. We remember and offer our prayers for family members who grieve their loss of loved ones
—parents, spouses, children, siblings.
We come to lay wreaths in their honor.
We salute the bravery of those who served this country, always hoping that when they are deployed they will return home safely, but always knowing that a different fate might await them and us.
Even as we remember those who died in service to country, we also come here today, hoping that one day such sacrifices will not be necessary. We look forward to that day, when, as the prophet declared
—Swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.
As we gather here today as a community, sharing different faiths, different ideologies, different ethnicities, may the example of those who gave their lives defending ideals of liberty and justice for all, inspire those of us left behind, to pursue these ideals, and build bridges of understanding and hope in this community and beyond. Amen.