A Soldier's Prayer - Veteran's Day Tribute

November 11, 2022 • Rev. Rob Fuquay

Today is Veterans’ Day when we acknowledge and honor those who have and are serving our country in one of the branches of the military including the Coast Guard. Since 911 Veterans’ Day sometimes includes those in the police and fire departments who risk their lives to protect the public. Veterans’ Day is different from Memorial Day when we remember those who died in service to our country. 

In recent years with the rise of white nationalism, there have been attempts to co-opt holidays like Veterans’ Day by extremist groups to support their narrow visions of what America should be. But at its core, this is a day to give attention to those who serve our country and believe in the protection of every person’s freedom.  

The United States of America has always stood apart as a nation that says “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free;” a nation that believes “all people are created equal;” and everyone is entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  

So today, if you see a veteran, thank them for their service. If you pass someone in uniform, stop them and express appreciation. And let’s remember to do all we can to support the efforts to provide the medical and pension support veterans deserve. 

Let me close with this prayer that is a good reminder of the way we should live our faith. It was found in the coat pocket of a dead confederate soldier in the Civil War: 

I asked God for strength that I might achieve. 

I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. 

I asked for health that I might do greater things. 

I was given infirmity that I might do better things. 

I asked for riches that I might be happy. 

I was given poverty that I might be wise. 

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. 

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. 

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. 

I was given life that I might enjoy all things. 

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything that I hoped for. 

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. 

And I am, among all men most richly blessed.

Rev. Rob Fuquay