Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grateful for our Veterans!

My father served in the army during World War II in North Africa and Italy. He was in the army for almost 25 years before retiring in 1965. The army will always hold a special place in my heart for the way in which they were so kind to the children of servicemen. Being on post was great fun and felt so secure. I know how those who are associated with Fort Hood must feel to have that security blown apart by a terroristic gunman who killed and injured so many unsuspecting individuals on post.

Our hearts go out to those who were killed and injured. We ask God's blessings upon those who mourn and eternal rest on those who have died. May perpetual light shine upon them.

On this Veterans' Day, we salute all who have served their country in the armed forces. We are grateful for their service and willingness to die for our country and the freedoms we hold dear. God bless you.

The following is a Byzantine Catholic prayer for Veterans and all who serve in the Armed Forces:

"O Holy Master, Almighty Father and Pre-Eternal God, Who alone made and directs all things; Who rise up quickly against the evil of the impious ones; Who, by Providence, teach Thy people preservation of Justice and the obliteration of the sword on earth; Who condescend to raise up military columns to help the people: O God, Who commanded the Forerunner John to say to the soldiers coming to him in the desert, 'Do not intimidate anyone... and be content with your wages':

We entreat Thee with compunction, that Thou gavest Thy child David the power to defeat Goliath, and as Thou didst condescend, through Judas Maccabeus, to seize victory from the arrogant pagans who would not call on Thy Name; so too, grant protection in righteousness and truth to these Thy servants against the enemies rising against them, and by Thy heavenly loving-kindness, strength and might for the preservation of faith and truth.

Condescend, out of Thy mercy, O Master, to grant them the fear of Thee, together with humility, obedience and good endurance; that they kill no one unrighteously, but rather preserve all righteousness and truth; that they may fear Thee and honor Justice; that they run in friendship to those who are scattered, extending thy love to those near them, serving the elderly with justice; and that their ranks fulfill all things righteously;

For thou art our God, and to Thee do we ascribe glory; to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen."

-- Fr. Steven Armstrong

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