Venice, Fla.-based the Rev. Liz Jensen touched on the many aspects of freedom that our nation's veterans so willingly serve to protect during the following invocation at the Legacy of Valor campaign kickoff:
"In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts, let each of us name and call on the One whose power over us is great and gentle, firm and forgiving, holy and healing.
We assemble here this day as a gathering of unique individuals sharing a common purpose. It has been said that America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave. Because freedom is not free we come here to pursue honoring those brave Americans who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Because freedom is not free we come here to inspire patriotism so as to preserve our freedom. Because freedom is not free we come here to embrace and celebrate the freedom we take for granted.
It has also been said that:
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
We come here not to glorify war but to give honor to those who served us in war. We come here not to politicize any position on war, but to give thanks for those who preserved our right to do so. We come here not to promote ourselves, but to encourage each other and to embrace our freedom to be here.
Lord of the Universe, hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others ahead of their own and gave their time to serve us and protect us. Give us hearts as generous as theirs.
You who created us, You who sustain us, You who call us to live in peace, we pray for the safety of those entering military service; hold them in your strong arms; cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection and our freedom.
Creator and sustainer of all that is or will ever be, hear our prayer for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, those whose hearts and hopes are known only to You. Accept the gift of their sacrifice and incline us to honor their memory with a sincere pledge to seek peace and nonviolent solutions to all conflicts, be they around the world or around the corner.
Power of all powers, hear our prayer for those who still wait and pray day by anxious day for that precious moment of reunion with a family member, friend, or loved one serving us in a distant place. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.
Healer of all hurts we pray for the many returning from combat with wounded bodies and minds injured by the sights and sounds and smells and terrors of war; comfort and keep them in your care. Let our military men and women feel our love, our gratitude, and our support.
Eternal One, hear our prayer for those whose reunion has been sorrowfully delayed until a Heavenly homecoming in the fullness of time. To them we offer the gentle assurance: “Blessed are those who mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
We call on the One whose power over us is great and gentle, firm and forgiving, holy and healing. Hear our prayer this day and in your goodness and mercy answer us in the name of all that is healing and all that is holy. Guide us as we seek to honor our veterans, inspire patriotism in our people, and embrace the freedom that comes at great price.
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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