Prayer at the National Commemoration of the 34th Anniversary of the Beirut Barracks Bombing, by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff 23 October 2017

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Almighty God,
we pray, meditate, reflect in different ways –
but together mourn our dead,
honor our wounded,
and weep for the pain of their families.

We praise our heroes past and present, too –
because as World War two Reporter Elmer Davis wrote:
“this nation shall remain the land of the free
only so long as it is the home of the brave.”[1]Elmer Davis, But We Were Born Free, (Bobbs-Merrill 1954) 

Thirty four years ago today
terrorist attacks took the lives of hundreds of the brave
in the American and French compounds
of the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut.
They came in peace to a land at war;
in the line of fire,
they risked their lives
to buy some time
in pursuit of a dream.

Let us honor them by being brave ourselves:
brave enough to fight when fight we must;
brave enough to take some risks even against the odds;
but also brave enough to believe
that through our words, our deeds, and our lives,
we’ll keep the dream of peace alive.
We’ll make the future better than the past.
And may we say, Amen.

Rabbi Resnicoff was present during the bombing in Beirut and his experience was shared by then President Ronald Reagan in Remarks at the Baptist Fundamentalism Annual Convention, April 13, 1984. (Video link.)

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Notes   [ + ]

  1. Elmer Davis, But We Were Born Free, (Bobbs-Merrill 1954)

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