First, let me state, I am not a religious man. I don’t belong to any church and while I believe in God, I do not claim to understand his nature, only that he exists.
Now let us discuss Mayor Bloomberg’s decision not to have allow prayer at the 10th anniversary of 9/11 ceremony to be held at “Ground Zero”. Instead, as in the past, there will be “moments of silence” to reflect on those lost in the terrorist attack. Apparently Mayor Bloomberg is afraid of insulting a religion by excluding any one clergy during the prayers. There is a solution to this quandary. Let a prominent lay person (hint, maybe you Mr. Mayor?) lead all at the ceremony and those watching it on television in a non-denominational prayer. There is a precedence.
On June 6th, 1944, when it became obvious to the American People that the Normandy landings were underway and the need for operational silence was now over, Franklyn Delano Roosevelt LED THE PEOPLE UNITED STATES IN PRAYER OVER THE RADIO. And not just any prayer. He wrote the prayer and had the Mass communication outlets (radio and Newspapers) publish it or read it BEFORE he read the prayer the evening of 6 June 1944 so that all Americans could copy it down and join him in prayer that night.
Want Proof? Here is the radio broadcast made by NBC where the announcer reads the prayer very slowly so citizens could write it down in anticipation of FDR’s actual public reading of his prayer.
And just to prove he did it, here is FDR leading the Nation in prayer for the safety and success of our troops in harm’s way.
While I have my issues with FDR as far as his economic policies went, he was, after Lincoln, our greatest “War Time” President (he made the big picture decisions and left the rest to George Marshal). FDR knew that as Commander-in-Chief, he was personally responsible for sending many men to their death in order to achieve a greater good. While the next few days would bring martial glory to a nation at war, it would also bring unimaginable pain and loss to mothers, fathers, wives and children across this truly blessed nation of ours. FDR was aware that while the sacrifices that were being made were necessary and right, he also aware that the best he could do for those about to suffer terrible loss was to give them the only gift possible to help alleviate this loss. A simple, heartfelt prayer.
Mayor Bloomberg: Why is it right for you to ban a simple prayer at the 10th anniversary of an event that is every bit as historic as 6 June 1944? FDR knew prayer was called for. Is it your opinion FDR was wrong to lead a nation in prayer on D-Day?
A simple, eloquent non-denominational prayer would give those who lost loved ones on 9/11 a sense of peace and would give a nation a sense of hope for better days to come.
To deny this simple gift to our nation is just not a wrong decision made by you. It is a disservice to the people who died, to those that survived and to people of our nation as a whole that, 10 years later, still remembers that earth shattering day that did not destroy us, but rather, united us for an all too brief, transcendent moment.