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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

A Memorial Day Prayer

                Memorial Day has become the annual kickoff to summer, a time for beaches and barbecues and blockbuster movies at the local multiplex. But the holiday’s roots commemorating and honoring those who have given their lives for their country should never get lost in the process. After all, the reason we’re able to enjoy all these fun activities is because men and women fought and died to preserve our freedoms.

                It’s easy to lose sight of that nowadays. I’m reminded of a quote by CNN anchor Jake Tapper in his 2012 book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.” He wrote, “In the modern media world and the modern American pop culture world, we know the names of Kardashians more than we know the names of U.S. troops who have been killed fighting a war, ostensibly for us.”

While reflecting on the meaning of the holiday a while back, I composed a Memorial Day prayer that I’d like to share with you. Though I haven’t lost any close friends or family to war, several of my “Christopher Closeup” interviews over the years have focused on the pain endured by families who have experienced that kind of loss, as well as the hope that they will see their deceased loved ones again in God’s Kingdom.

I had those people in mind when I wrote these words, so I hope they can offer just a little bit of solace to anyone in a similar situation:

Heavenly Father, today we honor those who have given their life for their country on foreign battlefields and here at home. Though they would have preferred peace to war, they responded to the call to serve and made the ultimate sacrifice defending the ideals in which they believed, defending their brothers-and-sisters-in arms, and defending innocents from violence.

May their courage be honored and remembered; may their example influence current and future generations; may their legacy be one of love and sacrifice; and may their souls be embraced by You.

We also remember those service members whose invisible wounds led them to take their own lives. Their minds, hearts, and spirits were in turmoil due to the violence they had experienced, and they thought there was no other way to end their pain. We pray that You welcome these men and women into Your loving and merciful heart. 

We also pray that those enduring these struggles right now realize that suicide is not the answer. May they find the hope they are looking for because there are good people out there who are willing and able to help them.

We pray also for those designated POW/MIA. Their families have no closure. They don’t know if their loved ones are alive or dead. Bring them the answers they seek and, if possible, bring the missing home.

Finally, comfort the families of all the men and women who have been lost to war and terrorism. To them, the deceased are not just military personnel, but rather father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend.

Help these families remember the good times and look forward to being reunited with their loved ones in Your heavenly kingdom some day where there will be no more mourning.

We ask this in Your loving name, Father. Amen.

 

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, GETTING THROUGH GRIEF WITH GOD, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org