On June 6, 1944, on live radio, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked his fellow citizens to join him in prayer as American troops were landing in Normandy, launching one of the most dangerous and complicated battles of World War II. Knowing the terrible odds our boys were facing as they crossed a quarter mile of open beach under heavy Nazi fire, President Roosevelt beseeched God on behalf of an anxious nation in one of the largest mass prayers in history:
"Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom."
Despite the historical significance, President Roosevelt's "D-Day Prayer" was not included on the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC when it was completed in 2004.
In 2014, President Obama signed into law the World War II Memorial Prayer Act directing the Secretary of the Interior to add "the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on D-Day, June 6, 1944" to the WWII Memorial. However, the legislation stipulates that no federal funds may be used to implement this directive.
The Friends of the National World War II Memorial has been charged with the immense and honored responsibility of designing and funding the addition of FDR's D-Day Prayer to the Memorial and restoring the "Circle of Remembrance," a landscaped area located at the northwestern corner of the Memorial site where the Prayer will be placed.
This will be an important and meaningful addition to the Memorial, which is visited by more than 4 million people each year, providing a contemplative space to reflect on and to remember the more than 400,000 American souls lost during World War II.
Friends is leading the effort to raise the estimated $3 million needed for this most important undertaking.
If you'd like to support this monumental effort, please donate now.
Friends is a registered 501(c)(3) charity. Tax ID: 13-4358477.