We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
~ President Ronald Reagan, remarks on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1984
My very best wishes to all of you for a safe, enjoyable and, above all, meaningful Memorial Day weekend.
Five years ago, in late May 2016, the late Reverend Lewis Brown of Painted Post, whose last parish assignment was at All Saints Parish in Corning, delivered an inspiring and incredibly well-received "Prayer for the Military" to open the New York State Senate's daily legislative session.
Prior to his service as a pastor locally, Father Lew served 22 years of active duty as a United States Navy Chaplain in various capacities including with the Marines in Okinawa, Japan; as ship’s company aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz; and at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., with duty at Arlington National Cemetery.
In the Senate on May 25, 2016, Father Lew gave us a “Prayer for the Military” – one so fitting as we prepared for Memorial Day – which included the inspiring words “to strengthen our conviction and give us the courage to be a home for the brave and a land for the free.”
In fact, Father Lew received a standing ovation in the Senate that day following his invocation. I'd never witnessed a standing O for an invocation in the Senate prior or since, and many of my more senior colleagues at that time commented that they had never seen one either. It was truly an amazing prayer from a great American in memory of so many great Americans!
Father Lew passed away last September. In his memory -- and in memory of his own service -- I am proud to share his "Prayer for the Military" again HERE.
May God Bless America and may God Bless our Troops.