Memorial Day remembers Americans who have died fighting in the Armed Services of the United States. Here are some inspirational prayers and blessings for our heroes on this day.
During Memorial Day, many people visit cemeteries and memorials dedicated those who have died in military service. Volunteers also place American flags on graves in national cemeteries. Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day, which occurs on November 11 and honors the service of all U.S. military veterans.
Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May. Learn more about the history of Memorial Day here!
1. “O God,
by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest,
look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their
lives in the service of their country.
Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son
they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom
and rejoice in you with your saints forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.” — United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
2. “Heavenly Father, as our nation pauses today to remember those in the military who have given their lives for freedoms we enjoy, we pray you would have us all look to you for strength, comfort and guidance. Be with all who serve in our Armed Forces. Bless them and their families. Grant your loving protection. Let peace prevail among all the nations, O God. Especially let your mercy rest upon our land, even as we acknowledge with thanksgiving your past goodness on this country. If it is your will, preserve the lives of the men and women in uniform as they defend our citizenry. Most of all, we pray that you would turn the hearts of all – military and civilian – to your holy Word where we find the true peace for our sinful souls that surpasses all understanding. Keep us repentant of sin. Move us to know, take hold and treasure your saving grace. In the name of Jesus, our Savior and Your beloved Son, who alone gives this peace and hope for eternity, we pray. Amen.” — Evangelical Lutheran Synod
3. ““O God, hear me! Not once in my life have I ever spoken to you, but today I feel the urge to make you an act of worship.
You know that even from my infancy they always told me that you didn’t exist… I, stupid, believed them.
I had never marveled at your great works.
But tonight I looked up from out of a shell hole at the heaven of stars above me!
And fascinated by their brilliant magnificence
All at once I understood how terrible the deception…
I don’t know, O God, if you will give me your hand.
But I say this to you, and you understand.
Isn’t it strange, that in the midst of a terrible inferno, the light should appear to me and I should have discovered you?
Beyond this I have nothing to say to you. I am happy just because I have known you.
At midnight we must attack,
But I have no fear, you are looking out for us.
It is the signal. I have to go. It was wonderful to be with you. I want also to tell you, and you know it, that the battle will be hard: it could be that, in this very night, I’ll come to knock at your door.
And even though up to now I haven’t been your friend,
When I come, will you let me come in?
But what’s this? Am I crying?
My Lord God, you see what has happened: only now I’ve begun to see clearly…
Farewell, my God, I am going. It’s scarcely possible that I’ll return.
Strange; Death now has no fear for me.” — Aleksander Zatzepta, composed just a few moments before the battle in which he lost his life in the Second World War, Plough.com
I just want to thank You for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line daily for our nation! They are living out what it means to serve. By protecting us they are putting us before themselves and I am so thankful for them all. They are a blessing to this nation and I pray that You will watch over them and bless them 10 fold! Thank You for our troops, Father! Without men and women of courage we would not be the country we are today! I hold them in high esteem and I am grateful for each and every single one of them! Thank You for the men and women in our armed forces, Lord! Be with all of them and their families today! I love you! Amen.” — What Christians Want to Know
5. “This combat soldier’s prayer,
Who has served his time in Hell,
Is may we learn the lessons of war well,
That we not doom future generations,
The same old tales of horror to tell,
To endure what in youth they see mistakenly as glory.
Oh God, do not let our children
Repeat the same old story.
Make it so that America’s babies live to grow old
In this land of the free and the bold.
Help us throw off the shackles of hate that bind
And grow old in a life of a peaceful kind.
Teach us that there is no glory in war,
Nor honor there that brave men should not abhor.
Teach us instead, one for another our brothers to love.
Shower us with thine Celestial message from above,
That we plant seeds of peace evermore
And make war-no-more!
Medi Vac Dustoff chopper
But if I should die on some far, far away battlefield
Know I answered the call
For a grand principle of freedom to yield.
My fervent prayer is that death
May not have been in vain
Fighting for peace and right for the world to attain.
My brothers, American roses standing by my side
On alien soil dying
In the summer of my youthful pride
All the leaves around me falling,
Now I’m lying here still, in sunshine and in shadow,
Longing to hear, “brother next door, I love you so.”
For moldering in the soft ground below,
I feel you living and loving in the world above me
Standing tall because I fought that you might be…
Oh look ye down now,
And tell me you still think of me
Honor my red blood, spilt that others might stand free.
Tell me that I did not give my all for you in vain
That brothers and sisters do not look upon my sacrifice
Or even worse,
Do not forget me when my valley’s hushed
And white with snow,
Grass growing green in the summer of my meadow
Help me see the peace I lived and died for grow.
Make my lonely grave richer,
Make this truly,
“The land of the free
And the home of the brave,”
I gave my life to save
That I might too, lie eternally,
Forever free…” — Gary Jacobson