Recently we celebrated Memorial Day in America, and today is a somber day as much of the Western World marks 70 years since the D-Day operations to liberate Nazi-Occupied Europe during the Second World War.
My Father is a WWII veteran serving in the Pacific theater – and did his part in securing the America we have today. (Thank you dad – for all that you did for making the world a better place both then and now!)
Former President Ronal Reagan, when marking the 40th Anniversary of D-Day at Normandy's Pointe Du Hoc, delivered one of the most memorable speeches of his career. In it, while paying tribute to the American and Allied soldiers, he said;
“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”
While here in the Holy Land Pope Francis, extended from his Mass in Bethlehem an unexpected invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to join him at the Vatican for prayer for peace.
The Pope has “stressed that he is not seeking to jumpstart peace negotiations, but merely bring the two sides together to pray.”
“It will be a prayer meeting. It's not to do mediation or find solutions,” he told reporters on the flight home from Jerusalem to Rome.
Following the invitation of Pope Francis during his visit to the region: Pope Francis, President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Abbas will issue a joint call for peace at a ceremony in the Vatican
The ceremony, which will take place in the garden of the Vatican, with delegations of rabbis, imams and Christian faith leaders.
When man is not at peace, he is often at war.
It takes belief in the sovereignty of God, in His staying power, and in man's fellow man to bring an end to conflict and seek peace.
The Pope's simple invitation to the leaders for prayer for peace for their peoples here heroic.
These men are champions for standing for peace in a region dogged by bloodletting and revenge.
The leaders are 'man' enough to express the need that man needs God's help to bring peace to the Middle East.
May we all join them with our prayers for peace – and may it be so, that the LORD's name not be used for violence against man – His creation.
Middle East Correspondent