Ceremony on the Town Green, Madison, CT

Closing Benediction by

Pastor Greg Scalzo


Most of you remember our dear friend Ed Guenther, who planned and organized these Memorial Day parades and ceremonies for many years.   And eight years ago, I gave a prayer for that Memorial Day ceremony that was a particular favorite of his.  I would like to lift that prayer up to the Lord again today, and then follow with the blessing.

And as I do so, I would ask you to think about the America we were only a short time ago; and how drastic and disturbing changes have rapidly come upon our nation in the past few years, unthinkable cultural changes that are even impacting our military; and then understand how important it is that we once again become the America that was and come back into the favor and protection of Almighty God, while there is still time.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father


We have remembered today those service members of all the armed forces who are no longer with us but have passed from this world into Your just and merciful hands—and especially those who gave their very lives, dying in their service to this country.


But they did not do so as so many other warriors in history, who sought plunder, or power, or to enlarge their domain.  Instead, they laid down their lives for something noble and good and beautiful.   They sacrificed for the idea of a special nation—one such as had never existed before in the annals of human history.  They offered themselves for America—a blessed, unique land where every individual enjoyed unprecedented freedom; yet a land whose people did not use that freedom recklessly or as libertines, but were keenly aware of the great responsibilities they had to each other and before You.  A country where each could worship freely as he or she saw fit; yet not a godless country, but one where churches and synagogues dotted every town.  A land of diligence and self-reliance, and yet one where neighbors were always quick to help and share.  A land of laws and governing bodies, yet a land where each citizen had a say and, by constitution, a part in that rule.


And these brave defenders saw their service of protection of this exceptional nation as a sacred trust.  If any self-benefit could be found in their motives it would be this:  that they fought and died so that their families and their children and their children’s children would be raised in a safe and good land, where both body and character would be fed and prosper.  America to them was more than just a territory or government—it was a dream fulfilled, it was a consecrated people, and it was home.


And so Father we owe them a great debt.  And we are deeply comforted by Your assurance of a world after this world.  We knew some of them as family and friends; but there are so many more throughout the generations, going back even to the founding of this nation, that we have never met, yet whose lives profoundly impact each of us here today.


And it is my prayer that to honor their memory, to fulfill their mission, and preserve the fruit of their sacrifice, that our country would be that special nation—the noble and good and beautiful America, she who is blessed by You and blesses You in turn by her virtue and righteousness.


I ask this as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen


Dear neighbors and countrymen of these United States:

As you turn to God, as you turn away from that which is empty and delusional and foolish and stand up for and confess that which is holy and virtuous and wise, then

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you,

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, anoint you, restore you, and give you peace.

In Jesus holy name.  Amen