Maybe it's the high 90-degree temperatures in Atlanta, maybe it's the fact that I am neck-deep in biographies and research for my upcoming book, "The Essential American: Documents & Speeches Every American Should Read," (Regnery, 2010), but I am hot and have had enough of the noise that too often passes for news.
Chelsea Clinton's wedding. I hope she and her husband have a wonderful life together, but do we really need to know what she wore, who attended or what they ate or drank at the event?
Bristol Palin's off-and-on-again engagement with Levi Johnston. She needs the continued love and support of family and friends, not media scrutiny.
Lindsay Lohan's incarceration. She should be left alone to figure out her life.
So what might I consider newsworthy?
How about Tuesday's sendoff ceremony for the Iowa National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team? They're going to train at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and will then be deployed to Afghanistan. Men and women who are leaving their homes and families to serve their country -- now that is newsworthy.
In an attempt to provide coverage they deserve, I am including the prayer offered at the ceremony by the Rev. Vicki Reece of United Methodist Church in Jesup, Iowa. Craig Gingrich, (no known relation), forwarded this prayer to me via email. Reece officiated at the wedding of Craig's son Garrett, commander of Charlie Company.
"A Soldier's prayer based on Psalm 91 for All Our Soldiers, as Iron Man Battalion, 1-133, Charlie Company is sent to Afghanistan,
"I love you, God, and I humbly give you my body, mind, and spirit as a living sacrifice as I do my best to help others be freed from all tyranny, violence, hatred and fear. I need your peaceful presence and focus on your word 'Be Still and Know that I AM God.' (Repeat until you feel that peace.) Make your presence known as I pray. Release your Love, Light and Life as I claim your promise that 'He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.' For it is you alone who is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in you alone do I trust.
"Save me from traps of the enemy and from deadly chemicals and diseases. God cover me with your wings, be my protection and refuge. Shield me with your faithfulness.
"Fill my mind with peace that I will not fear the terror of night, nor the weapons that fly by day. Protect me day and night from all death, disease and destruction.
"In the midst of battle, others may fall, but let no harm come to me or those around me. Let no harm come to the innocent at home or abroad.
"God, let your freedom and righteousness reign. Judge with your all-seeing eye; may you be the one to punish the wicked.
"As I take shelter in you, protect my body, mind and spirit. May no harm come to me, no disaster come near homes, barracks, tents or any dwelling. (Picture a bubble of God's light around every person, every place.)
"Command your angels to guard us in all your ways; may they minister your word: 'They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' Let us tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"I acknowledge your name Lord God Almighty, and I love you. It is in your name that I ask you to rescue and protect ... not only us, and our families at home, but also the innocent people of Afghanistan from all evil. Break the bondage of hatred, violence and fear. Release the Love of the Father, The Light of Jesus Christ, and the Life of the Holy Spirit into the world that Peace may be established.
"Be with me when I call on you, and answer my prayer. Be with me, my company, my family, my country, and this country, in times of trouble, and deliver us. Grant all of us with long life.
"Where there is fear, your perfect love.
"Where there is doubt, your faith.
"Where there is ignorance, your wisdom.
"Where there is lack, your abundance.
"Where there is disease, your health.
"Where there is darkness, your light.
"Where there is trepidation, your peace.
"Where there is weakness, your strength.
"Where there is anger, your peace.
"Where there is unforgiveness, your forgiveness.
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen."
Enough said. Amen.