War – II and More

9/27/07 at 7:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It was an interesting juxtaposition of war “things” on Monday. In New York Mad-man-jihad, Iran’s President, spoke at Columbia Univ., and I believe is scheduled to address (again) the UN in a few days. Last night PBS began showing the highly anticipated documentary on World War II by Ken Burns.

I’m still greatly angered that he was not only asked to speak at a school in the US but that he was even allowed access into the country. If Pres. Bush is serious about Iran as a member of the Axis of Evil, if we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iran is supplying arms to the terrorists in Iraq who use it to kill American servicemen, then Mad-man-jihad should either be denied entrance or he should be held as a prisoner of war. You can send him to Gitmo and let him enjoy the fine accomodations the Marines provide there.

[UPDATE: Now writing on Thursday I see how Bollinger tried to tear into the Iranian President, though it didn’t seem to affect him. I still don’t think he should have been invited in the first place.]

The War documentary on PBS was excellent. Even my 9 y.o. enjoyed part of it, particularly the combat parts. He wasn’t very interested in the talking sequences during the internment camp sequences. I felt my heart swelling with pride listening to the stories of everyday folks making a difference, whether they were in the military or back in their communities. I also felt a little shame, in that I (and many other people) are not sacrificing for the current war effort, that we don’t at least pray as we ought for the people that are putting it on the line in the Middle East.

After watching Thursday’s show, I can’t imagine there were many viewers who had dry eyes after the Normandy (Omaha Beach) invasion and how the nation as a whole reacted. Like the battle of Troy for the Greeks, this battle will be recounted thousands of years from now. Today in Iraq there are no beaches or fortified positions to storm. Going from city block to city block, rooting out the terrorists, is like going from hedgerow to hedgerow. Military victory today will be calculated much more differently than WWII.

Getting back to prayer, President Roosevelt gave a stirring prayer on the night following D-Day, and part of it was replayed in the documentary. It’s a little lengthy, but it’s worth reading and can be applied (for the most part) to the current situation in the Middle East.

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – June 6, 1944

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