June 6, 2014

CRUSADER STATE:

FDR's D-Day Prayer : Listen to the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt used to mark Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944 (Jon Meacham,  June 5, 2014, TIME)

One of his sons once referred to Franklin Roosevelt as a "frustrated clergyman." The president, an Episcopalian, loved liturgy and found the cadences of the Book of Common Prayer and of the King James Bible at once stirring and reassuring. And so the time came for Overlord--what his friend and colleague Winston Churchill called "the most difficult and complicated operation that has ever taken place"--FDR decided to commemorate the moment and address the nation not with a Fireside Chat or a grand speech but with a prayer of his own composition.

The White House distributed the text on the morning of June 6, 1944, so that the afternoon newspapers could publish it and listeners could pray along with Roosevelt when he broadcast that evening. With an estimated audience of 100 million, FDR was to lead what must rank as one of the largest mass prayers in human history. Here are his words, spoken in an hour of peril and of promise.

Posted by at June 6, 2014 10:04 PM
  
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