Prayer for Marines

A Prayer given by a Chaplain at a Marine Corps Birthday Ball last year:

My friends, it was once said......'O Lord, we have long known that prayer should include confession'. Therefore on behalf of the Marines and their guests gathered here tonight, I confess their sins:

Lord, they're just not in step with today's society. They are unreasonable in clinging to old-fashioned ideas like patriotism, duty, honor and country.

They hold radical ideas believing that they are their brother's keeper and responsible for the Marine on their flank. They have been seen standing when colors pass, singing the National Anthem at ball games, and drinking toasts to fallen comrades. Not only that, they have been observed standing tall; taking charge and wearing their hair unfashionably short. They have taken Teddy R's and JFK's words too seriously, and are overly concerned with what they can do for their service and country instead of what it can do for them. They take the Pledge of Allegiance to heart and believe that their oath is to be honored. ...Forgive them, Lord, for being stubborn men and women who hold these values as genuine. They are aware of the price for honor and with total command of their spirit, they have been willing to pay that price. After all, what more can you expect? They're Marines! O Lord our God, bless these men and women of ideals, continue to raise up in this nation strong leaders and deliver us from "me first" managers and "don't ask me" followers.

Be our honored guest this day, Oh Lord, and join with us in laughter, good food, good drink, and the telling of tall tales and legends that may occasionally exceed the truth. We bow our heads to those who were lost in places that had names meaningless until the mud-Marines landed, and in that mud reaffirmed the one legacy that brings all Marines together by the blood and tears shed for service of country and each other.

Watch over and keep safe all those who wear this nation's uniform with special attention to their families and loved ones everywhere. With brandy and cigar in hand, I salute you all, for through this day and all the following nights and days ahead, God bless you, God Bless this great Nation, and God bless the United States Marine Corps.