Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, the Chaplain of the Marine Corps, delivered the following invocation and benediction at the Medal of Honor ceremony for Dakota Meyer, where he was awarded the nation’s highest military honor.
Almighty God, we pause to acknowledge your grace which has brought us to this momentous day. We confirm by this ceremony that in accordance with your divine guidance, our forebears established a nation rooted in the ideals of courage and virtue. We now yield to your direction for this country even as we bestow its highest honors on Sergeant Dakota Meyer who himself sacrificed to defend its most cherished values.
God, hear our gratitude for honing Sergeant Meyer’s character through the loving support of his family, as well as countless mentors and friends. Know of our thankfulness for emboldening this Marine’s spirit so that when called on to preserve the safety and dignity of his comrades, he would find it within himself to demonstrate the valor and intrepidity of his character. For his selflessness and courage revealed that day in Kunar Province, this nation is indeed exceedingly grateful.
We ask now that you would touch his humble spirit that he would know that as the nation’s highest award is draped around his neck, you encircle him with the depth of your love – acknowledging not only him but those Marines and Sailors who were so much a part of his actions on that fateful day. Speak to him in the privacy of his heart and assure him that as his actions are honored, you equally recognize those who demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice everything in order to uphold the ideals we honor this day.
With that in mind we pray your abiding grace on the families and friends of the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen who have given their lives in service to this country. And we lift up in prayer all those who remain in harms’ way throughout the globe.
Now bestow your wisdom on those who lead this nation and shape her endeavors. Guide them and each of us by the example of these our heroes who loved country more than self, mercy more than life. God, bless America.
May this ceremony serve as a reminder of the responsibility that comes with receiving the grace gift of freedom. And as we depart this hallowed place and return to our daily lives, we pray that you would ennoble and enable us, that when called upon, we would recall the resolute fearlessness of Sergeant Dakota Meyer and all those who wear the stars of valor, and live up to our responsibilities and thereby bring honor to you and to this country.