He prayed with confidence and piety for all Americans. "Almighty God," he began, "our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion (sic), and our civilization (sic), and to set free suffering humanity.
"Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith." And on the president went. "Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into thy kingdom." Added Kozak, "This was an American president unafraid to embrace God and to define an enemy that clearly rejected the norms of humanity."
Nor apparently was President Roosevelt alone in his piety. He continued, "Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking thy help to our efforts."
A lot has happened since 1944. America went on to win the Cold War peacefully. We ended segregation. We have had years of peaceful prosperity, prosperity beyond even Roosevelt's dreams. There have been technological advances beyond the imagination of that prayerful president, and in medicine too. The average American can now expect to live decades beyond FDR's mere 63 years, but he, unlike many contemporary Americans, knew why he was here and where he was going.
In some ways, President Roosevelt would have been a typical Republican.
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