Poetry

Prayer 4

A 1994 issue of the Marine Corps Musicians Association (MCMA) Newsletter
printed an invocation delivered by Bill Black, the President of the MCMA:

"Oh Lord, we have long known that prayer should include confession.
Therefore on behalf of the Marines and their guests here gathered, 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 John Kennedy's words too seriously and
are overly concerned with what they can do for their country instead of
what this country 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 fast to such
old-fashioned values. After all, what more can you expect? They're Marines!
Oh Lord our God, bless our misguided 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. Let it be a day of
laughter, good food, good drink, and the telling of tall tales and legends
that occasionally exceed the truth. Watch over and keep safe those who wear
this nation's uniform with special attention to their families everywhere.
Now through this day and all the nights and days ahead, God bless this
great nation and God Bless the Corps. AMEN"
-- Bill Black
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