National Day of Prayer – Barack Obama

National Day of Prayer – Barack Obama

President Barack Obama prays with co-chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast in the Oval Office, Jan. 27, 2011. From left are: Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C.; Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.; former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick; and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Ê
President Barack Obama prays with co-chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast in the Oval Office, Jan. 27, 2011. From left are: Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C.; Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.; former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick; and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Ê

Proclamation 8374 – National Day of Prayer, 2009
May 7, 2009
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Throughout our Nation’s history, Americans have come together in moments of great challenge and uncertainty to humble themselves in prayer. In 1775, as the Continental Congress began the task of forging a new Nation, colonists were asked to observe a day of quiet humiliation and prayer. Almost a century later, as the flames of the Civil War burned from north to south, President Lincoln and the Congress once again asked the American people to pray as the fate of their Nation hung in the balance.

It is in that spirit of unity and reflection that we once again designate the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. Let us remember those who came before us, and let us each give thanks for the courage and compassion shown by so many in this country and around the world.

On this day of unity and prayer, let us also honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. We celebrate their commitment to uphold our highest ideals, and we recognize that it is because of them that we continue to live in a Nation where people of all faiths can worship or not worship according to the dictates of their conscience.

Let us also use this day to come together in a moment of peace and goodwill. Our world grows smaller by the day, and our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife; and to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. As we observe this day of prayer, we remember the one law that binds all great religions together: the Golden Rule, and its call to love one another; to understand one another; and to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.

The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2009, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon Americans to pray in thanksgiving for our freedoms and blessings and to ask for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection for this land that we love.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

 

Proclamation 8385 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2009
May 22, 2009

 

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

For over two centuries, Americans have defended our Nation’s security and protected our founding principles of democracy and equal justice under law. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of these freedoms.

Members of the United States Armed Forces have placed our Nation’s safety before their own for generations. From the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, these brave patriots have taken on great risks to keep us safe, and they have served with honor and distinction. All Americans who have enjoyed the blessings of peace and liberty remain in their debt.

As we remember the selfless service of our fallen heroes, we pray for God’s grace upon them. We also pray for all of our military personnel and veterans, their families, and all those who have lost loved ones in the defense of our freedom and safety.

Today, as we commend their deeds, we also bear a heavy burden of responsibility to ensure that their sacrifices will not have been in vain. This means that, as we uphold the ideals for which many have given their last full measure of devotion, the United States must never waver in its determination to defend itself, to be faithful in protecting liberty at home and abroad, and to pursue peace in the world.

In respect for their dedication and service to America, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 25, 2009, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. I urge the press, radio, television, websites, and all other media to participate in these observances. I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States, and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8410 – National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2009
September 3, 2009

 

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

They were daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, spouses and partners, family and friends, colleagues and strangers. They hailed from cities and towns across our Nation and world. On September 11, 2001, thousands of innocent women and men were taken from us, and their loss leaves an emptiness in our hearts.

Hundreds perished as planes struck the skyline of New York City, the structure of the Pentagon, and the grass of Pennsylvania. In the immediate aftermath of these tragedies, many victims died as they sought safety. Selflessly placing themselves in danger, first responders, members of the Armed Forces, and private citizens made the ultimate sacrifice working to assist others. During the National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, Americans across the country cherish the memory of all those who passed and honor and pray for their families and friends.

Americans also remember and pray for the safety and success of the members of the United States Armed Forces, who work every day to keep our Nation safe from terrorism and other threats to our security. Military members assisted those in need on September 11, 2001, and serve now in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. They have left the safety of home so that our Nation might be more secure. They have endured great sacrifice so that we might enjoy the blessings of liberty. Our servicemembers represent the best of America, and they deserve our deepest respect and gratitude.

The threat of terrorism has denied too many men, women, and children their right to live in peace and security. As the United States works to defeat terrorists and build a more hopeful future for our children and young people across the world, we seek humility and strength. We reflect upon the lessons drawn from our national tragedy, seek God’s guidance and wisdom, and, never forgetting the lost, commit to working in common cause with our friends and allies to create a safer and brighter world for current and future generations.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 4, through Sunday, September 6, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States, each in their own way, honor the victims of September 11, 2001, and their families through prayer, memorial services, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils. I invite the people of the world to share in this solemn commemoration.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8514 – National Day of Prayer, 2010
April 30, 2010

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Throughout our history, whether in times of great joy and thanksgiving, or in times of great challenge and uncertainty, Americans have turned to prayer. In prayer, we have expressed gratitude and humility, sought guidance and forgiveness, and received inspiration and assistance, both in good times and in bad.

On this day, let us give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our Nation. Let us rejoice for the blessing of freedom both to believe and to live our beliefs, and for the many other freedoms and opportunities that bring us together as one Nation. Let us ask for wisdom, compassion, and discernment of justice as we address the great challenges of our time.

We are blessed to live in a Nation that counts freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion among its most fundamental principles, thereby ensuring that all people of goodwill may hold and practice their beliefs according to the dictates of their consciences. Prayer has been a sustaining way for many Americans of diverse faiths to express their most cherished beliefs, and thus we have long deemed it fitting and proper to publicly recognize the importance of prayer on this day across the Nation.

Let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those suffering from natural disasters in Haiti, Chile, and elsewhere, and the people from those countries and from around the world who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to render aid. Let us pray for the families of the West Virginia miners, and the people of Poland who so recently and unexpectedly lost many of their beloved leaders. Let us pray for the safety and success of those who have left home to serve in our Armed Forces, putting their lives at risk in order to make the world a safer place. As we remember them, let us not forget their families and the substantial sacrifices that they make every day. Let us remember the unsung heroes who struggle to build their communities, raise their families, and help their neighbors, for they are the wellspring of our greatness. Finally, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those people everywhere who join us in the aspiration for a world that is just, peaceful, free, and respectful of the dignity of every human being.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8532 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2010
May 28, 2010

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Since our Nation’s founding, America’s sons and daughters have given their lives in service to our country. From Concord and Gettysburg to Marne and Normandy, from Inchon and Khe Sanh to Baghdad and Kandahar, they departed our world as heroes and gave their lives for a cause greater than themselves.

On Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price to defend the United States and the principles upon which America was founded. In honor of our country’s fallen, I encourage all Americans to unite at 3:00 p.m. local time to observe a National Moment of Remembrance.

Today, Americans from all backgrounds and corners of our country serve with valor, courage, and distinction in the United States Armed Forces. They stand shoulder to shoulder with the giants of our Nation’s history, writing their own chapter in the American story. Many of today’s warriors know what it means to lose a friend too soon, and all our service members and their families understand the true meaning of sacrifice.

This Memorial Day, we express our deepest appreciation to the men and women in uniform who gave their last full measure of devotion so we might live in freedom. We cherish their memory and pray for the peace for which they laid down their lives. We mourn with the families and friends of those we have lost, and hope they find comfort in knowing their loved ones died with honor. We ask for God’s grace to protect those fighting in distant lands, and we renew our promise to support our troops, their families, and our veterans. Their unwavering devotion inspires us all—they are the best of America.

It is our sacred duty to preserve the legacy of these brave Americans, and it remains our charge to work for peace, freedom, and security. Let us always strive to uphold the founding principles they died defending; let their legacy continue to inspire our Nation; and let this solemn lesson of service and sacrifice be taught to future generations of Americans.

In honor of their dedication and service to America, the Congress, by a Joint Resolution, approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8558 – National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2010
September 10, 2010

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

In commemoration of the tragedies of September 11, 2001, we come together as Americans each September to honor the memory of the women, men, and children lost in New York City, in rural Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. We renew our commitment to those who lost the comfort and companionship of loved ones and friends in those moments, and we mourn with them.

This year’s National Days of Prayer and Remembrance are a time to express our everlasting gratitude for the countless acts of valor on September 11, 2001, and in the dark days that followed. Innocent men and women were beginning a routine day at work on a beautiful September morning when they tragically lost their lives in a horrific moment of violence. We are forever indebted to the firefighters, police officers, and other first responders who put their lives on the line to help evacuate and rescue individuals trapped in offices and elevators. Rushing into chaos and burning buildings, many gave their lives so others might live. We continue to draw inspiration from the unflagging service rendered by volunteers who contributed to the recovery effort, including civilians and servicemembers.

At this somber time, we also pause to remember the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform who have lost their lives serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, while promoting freedom and security. When their country faced crisis and uncertainty, a new generation of Americans stepped forward and volunteered to serve. Their selfless contributions are immeasurable and must never be forgotten. We honor the members of America’s Armed Forces who have left the comfort of home to protect our Nation. We pray for their protection from every danger as they carry out their vital missions.

At a time of national tragedy, we relied upon the strength and resilience that has marked the pages of American history. Many Americans turned to God, and lifted up their fellow Americans in prayer. On these solemn days, let us remember that from the destruction of that morning, we came together as a people and a country, united in our grief and joined in common purpose to save, serve, and rebuild. The legacy of the lives lost nine Septembers ago and in defense of our Nation—of husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, cherished children, and dear friends and loved ones—reinforces our resolve to unite with one another, for the country we all love and the values for which we stand.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 10, through Sunday, September 12, 2010, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities. I invite people around the world to participate in this commemoration.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8667 – National Day of Prayer, 2011
April 29, 2011
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Throughout our history, Americans have turned to prayer for strength, inspiration, and solidarity.

Prayer has played an important role in the American story and in shaping our Nation’s leaders. President Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” The late Coretta Scott King recounted a particularly difficult night, during the Montgomery bus boycott, when her husband, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received a threatening phone call and prayed at the kitchen table, saying, “Lord, I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can’t face it alone.” Dr. King said, in that moment of prayer, he was filled with a sense of comfort and resolve, which his wife credited as a turning point in the civil rights movement.

It is thus fitting that, from the earliest years of our country’s history, Congress and Presidents have set aside days to recognize the role prayer has played in so many definitive moments in our history. On this National Day of Prayer, let us follow the example of President Lincoln and Dr. King. Let us be thankful for the liberty that allows people of all faiths to worship or not worship according to the dictates of their conscience, and let us be thankful for the many other freedoms and blessings that we often take for granted.

Let us pray for the men and women of our Armed Forces and the many selfless sacrifices they and their families make on behalf of our Nation. Let us pray for the police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect their fellow citizens. And let us ask God for the sustenance and guidance for all of us to meet the great challenges we face as a Nation.

Let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those who have been affected by natural disasters at home and abroad in recent months, as well as those working tirelessly to render assistance. And, at a time when many around the world face uncertainty and unrest, but also hold resurgent hope for freedom and justice, let our prayers be with men and women everywhere who seek peace, human dignity, and the same rights we treasure here in America.

The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2011, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith or conscience directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I ask all people of faith to join me in asking God for guidance, mercy, and protection for our Nation.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

 

Proclamation 8683 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2011
May 27, 2011

 

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

For over two centuries, brave men and women have laid down their lives in defense of our great Nation. These heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice so we may uphold the ideals we all cherish. On this Memorial Day, we honor the generations of Americans who have fought and died to defend our freedom.

Today, all who wear the uniform of the United States carry with them the proud legacies of those who have made our Nation great, from the patriots who fought at Lexington and Concord to the troops who stormed the beaches at Normandy. Ordinary men and women of extraordinary courage have, since our earliest days, answered the call of duty with valor and unwavering devotion. From Gettysburg to Kandahar, America’s sons and daughters have served with honor and distinction, securing our liberties and laying a foundation for lasting peace.

On this solemn day in which Americans unite in remembrance of our country’s fallen, we also pray for our military personnel and their families, our veterans, and all who have lost loved ones. As a grateful Nation, we forever carry the selfless sacrifice of our fallen heroes in our hearts, and we share the task of caring for those they left behind.

In his second Inaugural Address, in the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln called on our embattled Nation “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” On this Memorial Day, and every day, we bear a heavy burden of responsibility to uphold the founding principles so many died defending. I call on all Americans to come together to honor the men and women who gave their lives so that we may live free, and to strive for a just and lasting peace in our world.

In honor of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8708 – National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2011
September 9, 2011

 

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Ten years ago, a bright September day was darkened by the worst terrorist attack on America in our Nation’s history. On this tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we lift in prayer and remembrance the men, women, and children who died in New York City, in Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, and we honor the countless heroes who responded to senseless violence with courage and compassion. We continue to stand with their families and loved ones, while striving to ensure the legacy of those we lost is a safer, stronger, and more resilient Nation.

Since that day, a generation has come of age bearing the burden of war. The 9/11 Generation of service members and their families has stepped up to defend our security at home and abroad. They volunteer, knowing they might be sent into harm’s way, and they uphold the virtues of selflessness and sacrifice that have always been at the center of our Nation’s strength. We pay humble tribute to all those who serve in our Armed Forces, and to the thousands of brave Americans who have given their last full measure of devotion during this difficult decade of war.

First responders, law enforcement officials, service members, diplomats—the range of Americans who have dedicated themselves to building a safer world is awe-inspiring. We have put unprecedented pressure on those who attacked us 10 years ago and put al-Qa’ida on the path to defeat. Around the globe, we have joined with allies and partners to support peace, security, prosperity, and universal rights. At home, communities have come together to make us a stronger country, united by our diversity, our character, and our enduring principles.

Today, our Nation still faces great challenges, but this last decade has proven once more that, as a people, we emerge from our trials stronger than before. During these days of prayer and remembrance, a grateful Nation gives thanks to all those who have given of themselves to make us safer. And in memory of the fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and friends and loved ones taken from us 10 years ago, let us join again in common cause to build a more hopeful world.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11, 2011, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities. I invite people around the world to participate in this commemoration.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8812 – National Day of Prayer, 2012
May 1, 2012
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Prayer has always been a part of the American story, and today countless Americans rely on prayer for comfort, direction, and strength, praying not only for themselves, but for their communities, their country, and the world.

On this National Day of Prayer, we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience. Let us pray for all the citizens of our great Nation, particularly those who are sick, mourning, or without hope, and ask God for the sustenance to meet the challenges we face as a Nation. May we embrace the responsibility we have to each other, and rely on the better angels of our nature in service to one another. Let us be humble in our convictions, and courageous in our virtue. Let us pray for those who are suffering around the world, and let us be open to opportunities to ease that suffering.

Let us also pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces who have answered our country’s call to serve with honor in the pursuit of peace. Our grateful Nation is humbled by the sacrifices made to protect and defend our security and freedom. Let us pray for the continued strength and safety of our service members and their families. While we pause to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending liberty, let us remember and lend our voices to the principles for which they fought—unity, human dignity, and the pursuit of justice.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2012, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I call upon individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation as we address the challenges of our time.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

 

Proclamation 8831 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2012
May 25, 2012

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Our Nation endures and thrives because of the devotion of our men and women in uniform, who, from generation to generation, carry a burden heavier than any we may ever know. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict’s greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh, and pray for a just, lasting peace.

The American fabric is stitched with the stories of sons and daughters who gave their lives in service to the country they loved. They were patriots who overthrew an empire and sparked revolution. They were courageous men and women who strained to hold a young Union together. They were ordinary citizens who rolled back the creeping tide of tyranny, who stood post through a long twilight struggle, who saw terror and extremism threaten our world’s security and said, “I’ll go.” And though their stories are unique to the challenges they faced, our fallen service members are forever bound by a legacy of valor older than the Republic itself. Now they lay at rest in quiet corners of our country and the world, but they live on in the families who loved them and in the soul of a Nation that is safer for their service.

Today, we join together in prayer for the fallen. We remember all who have borne the battle, whose devotion to duty has sustained our country and kept safe our heritage as a free people in a free society. Though our hearts ache in their absence, we find comfort in knowing that their legacy lives on in all of us—in the security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, and the love that still beats in those who knew them. May God bless the souls of the venerable warriors we have lost, and may He watch over the men and women who serve us now. Today, tomorrow, and in perpetuity, let us give thanks to them by remaining true to the values and virtues for which they fight.

In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 8859 – National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2012
September 7, 2012

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Eleven years ago, America confronted one of our darkest days. The events of September 11, 2001, brought collapsing towers in Manhattan and billowing smoke at the Pentagon, wreckage on a Pennsylvania field, and deep ache to the soul of our Nation. Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives that morning; still more gave theirs in service during the hours, days, and years that followed. All were loved, and none will be forgotten. On these days of prayer and remembrance, we mourn again the men, women, and children who were taken from us with terrible swiftness, stand with their friends and family, honor the courageous patriots who responded in our country’s moment of need, and, with God’s grace, rededicate ourselves to a spirit of unity and renewal.

Those who attacked us sought to deprive our Nation of the very ideals for which we stand—but in the aftermath of this tragedy, the American people kept alive the virtues and values that make us who we are and who we must always be. Today, the legacy of September 11 is one of rescue workers who rushed to the scene, firefighters who charged up the stairs, passengers who stormed the cockpit—courageous individuals who put their lives on the line to save people they never knew. It is also a legacy of those who stood up to serve in our Armed Forces. In the 11 years since that day, more than 2 million American service members have gone to war. They have volunteered, leaving the comforts of home and family to defend the country they love and the people they hold dear. Many have returned with dark memories of distant places and fallen friends; too many will never return at all. As we mark these solemn days, we pay tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in faraway lands, to heroes who died in the line of duty here at home, and to all who keep faith with the principles of service and sacrifice that will always be the source of America’s strength.

On September 11, 2001, in our hour of grief, a Nation came together. No matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. This weekend, as we honor the memory of those we have lost, let us summon that spirit once more. Let us renew our sense of common purpose. And let us reaffirm the bond we share as a people: that out of many, we are one.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2012, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities. I invite people around the world to participate in this commemoration.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Remarks at an Interfaith Prayer Service for the Victims of the Terrorist Attack in Boston, Massachusetts
April 18, 2013

Thank you. Please. Hello, Boston.

Scripture tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Run with endurance the race that is set before us.

On Monday morning, the Sun rose over Boston. The sunlight glistened off the Statehouse dome. In the Common and the Public Garden, spring was in bloom. On this Patriot’s Day, like so many before, fans jumped onto the “T” to see the Sox at Fenway. In Hopkinton, runners laced up their shoes and set out on a 26.2-mile test of dedication and grit and the human spirit. And across this city, hundreds of thousands of Bostonians lined the streets: to hand the runners cups of water and to cheer them on.

It was a beautiful day to be in Boston, a day that explains why a poet once wrote that this town is not just a capital, not just a place. Boston, he said, “is the perfect state of grace.”

And then, in an instant, the day’s beauty was shattered. A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray and mourn and measure our loss. But we also come together today to reclaim that state of grace: to reaffirm that the spirit of this city is undaunted and the spirit of this country shall remain undimmed.

To Governor Patrick; Mayor Menino; Cardinal O’Malley and all the faith leaders who are here; Governors Romney, Swift, Weld, and Dukakis; Members of Congress; and most of all, the people of Boston and the families who’ve lost a piece of your heart: We thank you for your leadership. We thank you for your courage. We thank you for your grace.

I’m here today on behalf of the American people with a simple message: Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city. Every one of us stands with you.

Because, after all, it’s our beloved city too. Boston may be your hometown, but we claim it too. It’s one of America’s iconic cities. It’s one of the world’s great cities. And one of the reasons the world knows Boston so well is that Boston opens its heart to the world.

Over successive generations, you’ve welcomed again and again new arrivals to our shores, immigrants who constantly reinvigorated this city and this Commonwealth and our Nation. Every fall, you welcome students from all across America and all across the globe, and every spring you graduate them back into the world, a Boston diaspora that excels in every field of human endeavor. Year after year, you welcome the greatest talents in the arts and science, research; you welcome them to your concert halls and your hospitals and your laboratories to exchange ideas and insights that draw this world together.

And every third Monday in April, you welcome people from all around the world to the “Hub” for friendship and fellowship and healthy competition: a gathering of men and women of every race and every religion, every shape and every size; a multitude represented by all those flags that flew over the finish line.

So whether folks come here to Boston for just a day or they stay here for years, they leave with a piece of this town tucked firmly into their hearts. So Boston is your hometown, but we claim it a little bit too.

I know this because there’s a piece of Boston in me. You welcomed me as a young law student across the river, welcomed Michelle too. You welcomed me during a convention when I was still a State senator and very few people could pronounce my name right. [Laughter]

Like you, Michelle and I have walked these streets. Like you, we know these neighborhoods. And like you, in this moment of grief, we join you in saying, “Boston, you’re my home.” For millions of us, what happened on Monday is personal. It’s personal.

Today our prayers are with the Campbell family of Medford. They’re here today. Their daughter Krystle was always smiling. Those who knew her said that with her red hair and her freckles and her ever-eager willingness to speak her mind, she was beautiful, sometimes she could be a little noisy, and everybody loved her for it. She would have turned 30 next month. As her mother said through her tears, “This doesn’t make any sense.”

Our prayers are with the Lu family of China, who sent their daughter Lingzi to BU so that she could experience all this city has to offer. She was a 23-year-old student, far from home. And in the heartache of her family and friends on both sides of a great ocean, we’re reminded of the humanity that we all share.

Our prayers are with the Richard family of Dorchester: to Denise and their young daughter Jane as they fight to recover. And our hearts are broken for 8-year-old Martin, with his big smile and bright eyes. His last hours were as perfect as an 8-year-old boy could hope for: with his family, eating ice cream at a sporting event. And we’re left with two enduring images of this little boy, forever smiling for his beloved Bruins and forever expressing a wish he made on a blue poster board: “No more hurting people. Peace.” No more hurting people. Peace.

Our prayers are with the injured, so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today. And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your Commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. [Applause] You will run again.

Because that’s what the people of Boston are made of. Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act. If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us from those values that Deval described, the values that make us who we are, as Americans, well, it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it. Not here in Boston. [Applause] Not here in Boston.

You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the face of those who would visit death upon innocents, we will choose to save and to comfort and to heal. We’ll choose friendship. We’ll choose love.

The Scripture teaches us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” And that’s the spirit you’ve displayed in recent days.

When doctors and nurses, police and firefighters, and EMTs and guardsmen run towards explosions to treat the wounded, that’s discipline.

When exhausted runners, including our troops and veterans, who never expected to see such carnage on the streets back home, become first responders themselves, tending to the injured, that’s real power.

When Bostonians carry victims in their arms, deliver water and blankets, line up to give blood, open their homes to total strangers, give them rides back to reunite with their families, that’s love.

That’s the message we send to those who carried this out and anyone who would do harm to our people. Yes, we will find you. And yes, you will face justice. We will find you. We will hold you accountable. But more than that, our fidelity to our way of life—for a free and open society—will only grow stronger. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and love and self-discipline.

Like Bill Iffrig, 78 years old, the runner in the orange tank top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast, we may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race. In the words of Dick Hoyt, who’s pushed his disabled son Rick in 31 Boston Marathons, “We can’t let something like this stop us.” This doesn’t stop us.

And that’s what you’ve taught us, Boston. That’s what you’ve reminded us: to push on, to persevere, to not grow weary, to not get faint. Even when it hurts, even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn’t even know we had, and we carry on. We finish the race. [Applause] We finish the race.

And we do that because of who we are. And we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody is there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall. We know that.

And that’s what the perpetrators of such senseless violence—these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build and think somehow that makes them important—that’s what they don’t understand. Our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences there may be—that is our power. That’s our strength.

That’s why a bomb can’t beat us. That’s why we don’t hunker down. That’s why we don’t cower in fear. We carry on. We race. We strive. We build, and we work, and we love. And we raise our kids to do the same. And we come together to celebrate life and to walk our cities, and to cheer for our teams. When the Sox and Celtics and Patriots or Bruins are champions again—to the chagrin of New York and Chicago fans—[laughter]—the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street.

And this time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder, for the 118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it.

Tomorrow the Sun will rise over Boston. Tomorrow the Sun will rise over this country that we love: this special place, this state of grace.

Scripture tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” As we do, may God hold close those who’ve been taken from us too soon. May He comfort their families. And may He continue to watch over these United States of America.

 

 

Proclamation 8974 – National Day of Prayer, 2013
May 1, 2013
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Americans have long turned to prayer both in times of joy and times of sorrow. On their voyage to the New World, the earliest settlers prayed that they would “rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work.” From that day forward, Americans have prayed as a means of uniting, guiding, and healing. In times of hardship and tragedy, and in periods of peace and prosperity, prayer has provided reassurance, sustenance, and affirmation of common purpose.

Prayer brings communities together and can be a wellspring of strength and support. In the aftermath of senseless acts of violence, the prayers of countless Americans signal to grieving families and a suffering community that they are not alone. Their pain is a shared pain, and their hope a shared hope. Regardless of religion or creed, Americans reflect on the sacredness of life and express their sympathy for the wounded, offering comfort and holding up a light in an hour of darkness.

All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether individually or in fellowship.

On this day, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers all those affected by recent events, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the explosion in West, Texas. Let us pray for the police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to protect their fellow Americans. Let us also pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform and their families who serve and sacrifice for our country. Let us come together to pray for peace and goodwill today and in the days ahead as we work to meet the great challenges of our time.

The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2013, as a National Day of Prayer. I join the citizens of our Nation in giving thanks, in accordance with our own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

 

Proclamation 8987 – Memorial Day, Prayer for Peace
May 24, 2013

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Since our Nation’s earliest days, America has been blessed with an unbroken chain of patriots who have served our country with honor and distinction. From Concord to the Korengal, generations of brave warriors have fought for freedom across sand and snow, over mud and mountains, into lonely deserts and through crowded streets. Today, we pay tribute to those patriots who never came back—who fought for a home to which they never returned, and died for a country whose gratitude they will always have.

Scripture teaches us that “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” On Memorial Day, we remember those we have lost not only for what they fought for, but who they were: proud Americans, often far too young, guided by deep and abiding love for their families, for each other, and for this country. Our debt to them is one we can never fully repay. But we can honor their sacrifice and strive to be a Nation equal to their example. On this and every day, we must meet our obligations to families of the fallen; we must uphold our sacred trust with our veterans, our service members, and their loved ones.

Above all, we can honor those we have lost by living up to the ideals they died defending. It is our charge to preserve liberty, to advance justice, and to sow the seeds of peace. With courage and devotion worthy of the heroes we remember today, let us rededicate ourselves to those unending tasks, and prove once more that America’s best days are still ahead. Let us pray the souls of those who died in war rest in eternal peace, and let us keep them and their families close in our hearts, now and forever.

In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
BARACK OBAMA

Proclamation 9014 – National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2013
September 6, 2013

 

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

This week, Americans come together to mark the 12th anniversary of a day that shook our country to its core. Where two towers once cast a shadow, men and women gather in the early light to pay their respects. In a Pennsylvania field once scarred by debris, bells ring out and fingers trace over names etched in white marble. At the Pentagon, where a single stone still bears the scars of fire, a Nation honors souls who now know peace.

On this anniversary, images of darkness are never far from our thoughts. We remember planes cutting through a clear September sky, black smoke rising from the ruins below. These images will never leave us. But Scripture teaches us that light shines even in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

When the first calls for help reached squad cars, ambulances, and ladder companies, there was no hesitation. First responders rushed to the scene. They stormed up the stairs and into the flames. Aboard Flight 93, heroic passengers and crew members gave everything they had to prevent even more devastation.

Their legacy lives on in those they saved and in the memories we keep. Most of all, it lives on in the spirit they embodied: compassion, resilience, unity. Many of those we lost set aside their own well-being in the hope they could save someone they would never know.

That selflessness shows the best of who we are as a people. And for more than a decade, that same selflessness has summoned a new generation to serve in our Armed Forces. These solemn days also call upon us to reflect on their extraordinary service and sacrifice and to rededicate ourselves to showing our troops, our veterans, and their families the fullest support of a grateful Nation.

Finally, as we honor those who have borne so much since 9/11, let us turn our thoughts once again toward renewal. When shock and confusion could have torn us apart, we chose instead to move forward together, as one people. We have proven our resilience. We have recovered and rebuilt, better and brighter. We have kept faith with our oldest American beliefs. Years from now, these acts will reveal the true legacy of that day—of a safer world, a stronger Nation, and a country more united than ever before.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 6 through Sunday, September 8, 2013, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities. I invite people around the world to participate in this commemoration.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 9117 – National Day of Prayer, 2014
April 30, 2014
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

One of our Nation’s great strengths is the freedom we hold dear, including the freedom to exercise our faiths freely. For many Americans, prayer is an essential act of worship and a daily discipline.

Today and every day, prayers will be said for comfort for those who mourn, healing for those who are sick, protection for those who are in harm’s way, and strength for those who lead. Today and every day, forgiveness and reconciliation will be sought through prayer. Across our country, Americans give thanks for our many blessings, including the freedom to pray as our consciences dictate.

As we give thanks for our liberties, we must never forget those around the world, including Americans, who are being held or persecuted because of their convictions. Let us remember all prisoners of conscience today, whatever their faiths or beliefs and wherever they are held. Let us continue to take every action within our power to secure their release. And let us carry forward our Nation’s tradition of religious liberty, which protects Americans’ rights to pray and to practice our faiths as we see fit.

The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2014, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

 

Proclamation 9133 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2014
May 23, 2014

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Constant in the American narrative is the story of men and women who loved our country so deeply they were willing to give their all to keep it safe and free. When a revolution needed to be won and our Union needed to be preserved, brave patriots stepped forward. When our harbor was bombed and our country was attacked on a clear September morning, courageous warriors raised their hands and said, “send me.” On the last Monday of each May, our Nation comes together to honor the selfless heroes who have defended the land we love and in so doing gave their last full measure of devotion.

Today, we pause to remember our fallen troops, to mourn their loss, and to pray for their loved ones. Though our hearts ache, we find a measure of solace in knowing their legacy lives on in the families our heroes left behind—the proud parents who instilled in their sons and daughters the values that led them to serve; the remarkable spouses who gave our Nation the person they cherished most in the world; and the beautiful children who will grow up with the knowledge that their mother or father embodied the true meaning of patriotism. To those we lost, we owe a profound debt that can never be fully repaid. But we can honor the fallen by caring for their loved ones and keeping faith with our veterans and their fellow brothers and sisters in arms.

The security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, the freedom that we cherish—these were earned by the blood and the sacrifices of patriots who went before. This Memorial Day, as we near the end of more than a decade of war, let us never forget their service and always be worthy of the sacrifices made in our name. And today and every day, let us pray for and hold close the families of the fallen.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Proclamation 9162 – National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2014
September 4, 2014

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

In the footprints of two mighty towers, at a hallowed field where heroic actions saved even more heartbreak and destruction, and outside a Pentagon wall where we have rebuilt but still remember—in these sacred sites and in quiet corners across our country, we join together this week to remember the tragedy of thirteen Septembers ago. We stand with those who grieve as we offer some measure of comfort once more. We honor the courage and selflessness of all who responded. We reflect on the strength and grace that lift us up from the depths of our despair. Above all, we reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11—love, compassion, and sacrifice—and we enshrine it forever in the heart of our Nation.

No matter how many years pass, we will never forget the innocent souls stolen on that dark day: parents, children, siblings, and spouses of every race and creed. Dusty helmets, polished badges, and soot-stained gloves serve as small symbols of those who gave everything so others might live. But the stories of all those lost and the beauty of their lives shine on in those they left behind. The sacrifice of so many has forever shaped our Nation, and we have emerged a stronger, more resilient America. We stand tall and unafraid, because no act of terror can match the character of our Union or change who we are.

Each year as our Nation mourns, our faith restores us and summons within us the sense of common purpose we rediscovered after the attacks. Prayer and humble reflection carry us forward on the path we travel together, helping mend deep wounds still sore from loss. These lasting virtues sustain us not just for one day, but every day.

On this solemn anniversary, let us reaffirm the fundamental American values of freedom and tolerance—values that stand in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us. Let us give thanks for all the men and women in uniform who defend these values from new threats, and let us remember those who laid down their lives for our country. May our faith reveal that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 5 through Sunday, September 7, 2014, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities. I invite people around the world to participate in this commemoration.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

 

May 06, 2015

Presidential Proclamation — National Day of Prayer, 2015

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2015

 

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

When women and men of all backgrounds and beliefs are free to practice their faiths without fear or coercion, it bolsters our religious communities and helps to lift up diverse and vibrant societies throughout our world.  In America, our Nation is stronger because we welcome and respect people of all faiths, and because we protect the fundamental right of all peoples to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and discrimination.  Today, as we pause in solemn reflection, we celebrate the religious liberty we cherish here at home, and we recommit to standing up for religious freedom around the world.

For many of us, prayer is an important expression of faith — an essential act of worship and a daily discipline that allows reflection, provides guidance, and offers solace. Through prayer we find the strength to do God’s work:  to feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife.  In times of uncertainty or tragedy, Americans offer humble supplications for comfort for those who mourn, for healing for those who are sick, and for protection for those who are in harm’s way.  When we pray, we are reminded that we are not alone — our hope is a common hope, our pain is shared, and we are all children of God.

Around the globe, too few know the protections we enjoy in America.  Millions of individuals worldwide are subjected to discrimination, abuse, and sanctioned violence simply for exercising their religion or choosing not to claim a faith.  Communities are threatened with genocide and driven from their homelands because of who they are or how they pray.  The United States will continue to stand against these reprehensible attacks, work to end them, and protect religious freedom throughout the world.  And we remember those who are prisoners of conscience — who are held unjustly because of their faiths or beliefs — and we will take every action within our power to secure their release.

In the face of tremendous challenges, prayer is a powerful force for peace, justice, and a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.  Today, as we join together in fellowship, we seek to see our own reflection in the struggle of others, to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and to keep faith — in one another, in the promise of our Nation, and in the Almighty.

The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2015, as a National Day of Prayer.  I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2016

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

In times of steady calm and extraordinary change alike, Americans of all walks of life have long turned to prayer to seek refuge, demonstrate gratitude, and discover peace.  Sustaining us through great uncertainty and moments of sorrow, prayer allows us an outlet for introspection, and for expressing our hopes, desires, and fears.  It offers strength in the face of hardship, and redemption when we falter.  Our country was founded on the idea of religious freedom, and we have long upheld the belief that how we pray and whether we pray are matters reserved for an individual’s own conscience.  On National Day of Prayer, we rededicate ourselves to extending this freedom to all people.

Every day, women and men use the wisdom gained from humble prayer to spread kindness and to make our world a better place.  Faith communities at home and abroad have helped feed the hungry, heal the sick, and protect innocents from violence.  Nurturing communities with love and understanding, their prayer inspires their work, which embodies a timeless notion that has kept humanity going through the ages — that one of our most sacred responsibilities is to give of ourselves in service to others.

The threats of poverty, violence, and war around the world are all too real.  Our faith and our earnest prayers can be cures for the fear we feel as we confront these realities.  Helping us resist despair, paralysis, or cynicism, prayer offers a powerful alternative to pessimism.  Through prayer, we often gain the insight to learn from our mistakes, the motivation to always be better, and the courage to stand up for what is right, even when it is not popular.

Each of us is an author in our collective American story, and in participating in our national discourse to address some of our Nation’s greatest challenges, we are reminded of the blessing we have to live in a land where we are able to freely express the beliefs we hold in our hearts.  The United States will continue to stand up for those around the world who are subject to fear or violence because of their religion or beliefs.  As a Nation free to practice our faith as we choose, we must remember those around the world who are not afforded this freedom, and we must recommit to building a society where all can enjoy this liberty and live their lives in peace and dignity.

On this day, may our faiths enable us to sow the seeds of progress in our ever-changing world.  Let us resolve to guide our children and grandchildren to embrace freedom for all, to see God in everyone, and to remember that no matter what differences they may have, they, just like we, will always be united by their common humanity.

The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2016, as National Day of Prayer.  I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

 

 BARACK OBAMA

National Day of Prayer

 

Prayer Breakfasts – Barack Obama

blessing 4

 

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *