O God, we come before You in gratitude for these men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Many served our country in years gone by. To them, we are indebted for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Rock of Jacob,
Comfort of Rachel,
Broken and torn,
Shattered and crushed,
Bereaved and bereft,
We declare Your Holy Name.
God of the survivor,
God of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional, and spiritual distress from acts of terror.
Compassionate God, Source of Mercy, we pay tribute to those who have served our country, to express our gratitude for their courage and selflessness, both those among us today and those of generations past.
One of the great lessons in democracy was taught by a chaplain during World War II, Rabbi Roland Gittelsohn. Rabbi Gittelsohn helped to dedicate the Fifth Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima in April 1945. Burying the dead was extraordinarily difficult during the battle of Iwo Jima, and so the dedication of the cemetery afterwards was a particularly solemn and disturbing occasion.