Recognizing Our Soldiers
Invocation and Benediction by Donald L. Rutherford
O Eternal God, our Shepherd,
With You, we shall not want,
With You we shall lie down in green pastures and rest beside still waters.
Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, with You we shall fear no evil;
For You are with us, Your rod and Your staff comfort us…
We gather today to honor men who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Though they walked through that valley long ago, the valor and selflessness with which they trod the valley will live in the annals of American history always.
We remember their comrades in arms who never returned from that valley so many years ago. They did not lose their lives; they gave them. They offered up themselves for their country, their families, and their buddies. Their sacrifice shall never be forgotten in the story of America’s great crusade against tyranny.
We remember, too, the families of these men interned in their own country while their sons, husbands, and fathers fought to vindicate their names and reputations.
We thank You that You are a God of righteousness and justice Who rights wrongs and brings light out of darkness.
May You be glorified today as we confer recognition unjustly withheld and long overdue. May You be honored even as we honor these brave men, their families, and their comrades who are not here today.
O God of Hosts, our Shepherd, we commend this ceremony to You.
To You we lift our hearts in gratitude for all here who fought, and have lived since, so valiantly and selflessly. Thank You for those who died bravely for truth, liberty, and justice. Thank You, too, for their families to whom they bequeathed a heritage of honor and courage.
Help us to guard carefully the gifts which their loyalty and devotion passed on to us.
May we be true as these men were, and are, true; may we be loyal, selfless, and faithful to our country as they were – and are – to this day.
Now may Your blessing be upon these precious men and their families.
May they go from here in Your favor – even as they will always enjoy the favor of their country and their countrymen.
May You bless their military descendants – those Americans who serve on the front line of freedom even now.
And may You bless this grand nation for which these men have given so much. May You keep America worthy of their devotion and sacrifice and ever in Your light.