As PastorDan is off enjoying a much deserved vacation with his lovely spouse, I am stepping into the pulpit to lead the evening rememberance. I only hope I can do it half as well as he does.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [humankind] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

O Creator,

help us, as we celebrate the infant steps of the United States of America, to remember those who have lost or been deprived of the unalienable Rights you have endowed us with:

Help us to remember those who have lost their lives:

  • the men and women of the armed forces in every nation;
  • the men, women and children of Iraq
  • the victims of war and terrorism in all places, especially the Middle East, Darfur, Northern Ireland, and all nations;
  • the victims of starvation, AIDS, and other disease;
  • the victims of street violence in the United States and elsewhere.

[In the silence of your heart remember those in your own circle who have died; if you wish, please share them with us in the comments below.]

O Creator,

help us, as we honor the early fight for liberty, remember those who have lost their own liberty:

  • the victims of torture in Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, and other places around the world;
  • those who languish in places where there is no due process of law, and those denied due process;
  • the innocent who have been convicted unjustly, especially those who face the death penalty;
  • the prisoners who have served their debt to society, and yet are denied release;
  • those imprisoned by fear, addictions, or greed.

[In the silence of your heart remember those in your own circle who are imprisoned; if you wish, please share them with us in the comments below.]

O Creator,

help us, as we spend time celebrating with family and friends, to reflect on what happiness truly means, and to remember those whose happiness may feel far away:

  • those who suffer from poverty, both at home and abroad, as they face a world that places so much emphasis on material goods;
  • those with chronic pain, depression, or other debilitating illness, for whom happiness may seem a distant memory;
  • those who grieve the loss of friends or family, for whom happiness may have died with their loved ones;
  • those in debt, whose pursuit of happiness through material goods has put them in a hole they may feel they will never get out of;
  • the wealthy and powerful, who may lose sight of what is truly important in life in their quest for more wealth and more power.

[In the silence of your heart remember those of your own circle who have lost sight of their own happiness; if you wish, please share them with us in the comments below.]

And finally, O Creator,

as we in the United States sing “God Bless America” and other songs, help us to remember that we are not a chosen nation, and that You bless not just America, but the entire world. May we learn to lead by example and not by might.

[In the silence of your heart, add your own prayers for the United States or the country of your choice; if you wish, please share them with us in the comments below.]

Amen, Selah, so be it…

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