Proud to be an American: A Veterans Day prayer

The tribute to our veterans yesterday before the start of the Ravens game at M&T Bank Stadium was a powerful reminder that freedom is not free. The Baltimore-based men and women now serving with the National Guard who joined us from Kandahar, Afghanistan via the Jumbotron had the respect and attention of everyone gathered in the stands.
Through the years, the Baltimore Ravens have always paid tribute to our troops, past and present, before each game with Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American” right before the singing of the National Anthem. It always brings people to their feet to acknowledge our pride in our nation and in the men and women who serve the United States of America in good times and in bad.
As we observe Veterans Day today may we pause and give a grateful prayer for all who have served our nation. We would not have the opportunities and freedom that we enjoy today without their selfless service and sacrifice.
May those who have died rest in peace. Amen.

Loving God, We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces. We ask for healing for the Veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe. We pray especially for the young men and women, in the thousands, who are coming home with injured bodies and traumatized spirits. Bring solace to them, O Lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray. We ask for, echoing John Paul II, an end to wars and the dawning of a new era of peace, as a way to honor all the veterans of past wars. 

Have mercy on all our Veterans. Bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in. Bless all the soldiers who served in non-combative posts; May their calling to service continue in their lives in many positive ways.

Give us all the creative vision to see a world which, grown weary with fighting, Moves to affirming the life of every human being and so moves beyond war. Hear our prayer, O Prince of Peace, hear our prayer.

“I’m Proud to be an American”
With perfectly-timed photos to Lee Greenwood’s music, this video plays like a prayer:
With grateful hearts to our veterans, may God bless the USA.


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.