Today the city of Fitzgerald hosted a luncheon in honor of our community's World War II veterans. I was honored to offer the following prayer of thanksgiving.
Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, Savior of all people everywhere who hear and respond to your call,
We praise you for life and for life everlasting, both of which come to us only through your grace.
We praise you for the United States of America, for the state of Georgia, for the city of Fitzgerald, and for the county of Ben Hill, all of which we call home.
We praise you for the life, the liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that constitute the legacy of our forebears and the ongoing ideals of our Republic.
O God, we ask for your wisdom, for your guidance, and for your strength that we might as individuals and as a people pursue and live out those ideals.
We thank you today for those among us who, along with their fellows and their families, sacrificed so much during the great conflict of World War II. We thank you for their service to their nation during the war and we thank you for their service to their families, to their communities, and to society in all the years since the war concluded.
We are mindful of the fact that many of their fellows sacrificed their very lives on the fields, on the seas, and in the air where the battles of the war were fought; we remember those today with great reverence and thanksgiving. We are also mindful that large numbers of our WWII veterans are leaving us each day and so we thank you for this and for every opportunity that we have to tell them “Thank you!”
We are furthermore mindful of the fact that many others have served in uniform in the years since WWII and that indeed many are serving even now, with many of those serving in harm’s way, and we thank you for them and ask your protection and blessing on them.
As we thank you today for the great victory over the forces of totalitarianism and oppression that you won through these veterans all those years ago, we are mindful that there are still forces of totalitarianism and oppression that do and that would rob the people of our world of their liberty and we ask that you would, now and always, give those of us who possess and who love freedom the willingness and the resolve to stand firm against them.
For the food in which we share today, for the fellowship around the tables, and for a community in which we appreciate, celebrate, and support each other, we give you our most humble thanks.