This is slightly adapted from President George Washington’s farewell address to the nation in 1796 and the first and second inaugural addresses to the nation by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and 1865.

From the words of Washington, we pray that the unity of the government which constitutes us as one people be now and ever dear to us. It should be justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of our real independence, the support of our tranquility at home, our peace abroad; of our safety; of our prosperity; of that very liberty which we so highly prize. We are citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country. That country has a right to concentrate our affections. We pray that the name “American,” which belongs to us in our national capacity, may always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from differences of political opinion.

From the words of Lincoln, we continue to pray: Regarding our political opponents in this country, help us to remember we are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

Therefore, with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as you, Lord, give us to see the right, let us strive to bind up the nation’s political wounds and do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

The Rev. Brad Jenson

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Duluth

A version of this prayer was offered by the writer as an invocation at the Duluth Harbortown Rotary Club meeting on Feb. 17.


Readers' View and Local Views

Letters are limited to 300 words, must be the original work of the author and must be exclusive to the News Tribune. Letters are edited for style, space, accuracy and civility.

Letter writers are limited to one published submission every 30 days.

With rare exceptions, the News Tribune does not publish poetry; letters that are anonymous, libelous or attack other writers; consumer-complaint letters; thank-you letters; or letters generated by political or special-interest campaigns.

We will consider exclusive Local View columns of 600 words or fewer. Authors should possess unique insights, and their commentaries should demonstrate greater knowledge of their subject than letters.

Email submissions to: letters@duluthnews.com

Mail to: Readers' Views, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802.

Fax to: 218-720-5120.

Include a full name, address and daytime photo number. Only names and hometowns will be published.