- (Photo: Reuters/Jewel Samad)
A bill that would add a display of the prayer that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued for the D-Day invasion of World War II was introduced in the Senate Thursday.
The proposal, introduced by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, would direct the Interior Secretary to install a plaque or inscription of the prayer at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives version of the bill, sponsored by Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson, passed with a vote of 386 to 26.
Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance, told The Christian Post that his organization has been supporting this measure for historic and spiritual reasons.
"It will provide future generations an opportunity to read this prayer that President Roosevelt prayed with the nation on the morning of the D-Day Landings," said Long.
"This prayer was heard by many around the world who were listening by radio as the events in Normandy were unfolding. The lives of millions were in the balance, depending on the success of the Allies' advance, and the hope and prayer of many was expressed in President Roosevelt's prayer."
President Roosevelt's prayer came on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, when Allied forces launched an invasion of occupied France at several beaches in Normandy.
"With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace," reads the prayer in part.
In a statement released the day of the legislation's introduction, Portman stated that the prayer was an important part of the history of the Second World War.
"That morning, President Roosevelt asked our nation to come together to pray for the men overseas. His words brought strength and comfort to many during one of the most challenging times for our nation and will forever be etched in our history," said Portman.
"This bill ensures that FDR's prayer will become a permanent reminder of the sacrifice of those who fought in World War II, and of the power of prayer through difficult times."
Joe Conn, spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told CP that the proposed legislation was an "irresponsible" act of "politicizing religion."
"It's a shameless attempt to make the Obama administration – which wants to leave the completed memorial the way it is – look anti-prayer and anti-religion," said Conn.
"The brave soldiers who died on D-Day … deserve our eternal gratitude. Adding a prayer to the FDR memorial is not an appropriate way to honor their sacrifice, and they certainly don't deserve to be pawns in a partisan political scheme."
Long of OCA maintained, "Support for this legislation has been overwhelming. D-Day Landing Prayer is a wonderful historical presidential prayer, and this legislation enjoys the support of many veterans groups, including the VFW and The American Legion."
"16 million Americans served us in WWII, and this memorial is a fitting tribute to their honorable service. The inclusion of this prayer will only add to the significance of this memorial monument."