An Arlington Prayer
Dear God. As my heavy heart led me through the 624 acre cemetery last Memorial Day, I couldn’t help but think about all the heroes that you created that were willing to die for me just as your son Jesus did. True martyrdom has its own code of ethics: gentle as need be and valiant as need be.
Since my passive nature won’t let me be a martyr, I know that they, the brave, will be willing to die for me. I can hear their spirits rising from the ground to console me.
“Be still, my friend. I fought bravely for you, and there are many more of us that will do the same. If you let oppression belittle you and steal your freedom, remember that you still have us to live and die for you.
God chose me to be a soldier and chose you to let peace guide your spirit so you can feel in your heart what freedom does to you; free of human and spiritual bondage; that obstruction that stands in the way of blissful contentment.”
Thanks be to thee, Oh Lord. Amen.
Recited at Memorial Day Service by James Shoemaker, Mayor of Wind Gap, PA