Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2017 marks the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. The attack was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base in Hawaii in the early morning hours of December 7, 1941.

At 7:48 a.m. 353 Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers, attacked the base. All 8 of the United States battleships were damaged, with half of them being sunk. The USS Arizona was the only ship that was not raised, with 6 of the 8 ships returning to service to fight in World War II. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.

In comparison to the mass devastation incurred by the United States, the death toll on Japan’s side was relatively light.  The Japanese Navy lost 29 aircraft and five midget submarines, 65 servicemen killed or wounded and only one Japanese sailor was captured. In honor of all those who lost their lives during the attacks on Pearl Harbor, we have collected 5 prayers to offer peace and solace on this solemn day.

A Prayer for Those Who Fought To Keep Us Free

“Dear God, not everything that happens in your world reflects your goodness and grace. You have given us freedom to choose, and with that freedom sometimes we choose to do evil. Today we remember a time of great evil in our world – we remember World War II. We also remember those who stood their ground against great evil, those who fought here at home and on the battlefronts to insure that evil would not prevail. We thank you that in the hour of need you gave men and women the strength and resolve to stand, whatever the cost. May those brave souls who still remain here with us feel today your hand of favor and strength? In their last years here on earth give them renewed hope and an awareness of our gratitude for their bravery and sacrifice. May we never forget them, and may you honor them according to the grace you gave in those days and according to their response to that grace, then and now. In Jesus…”

A Prayer for Veterans

“Dear Lord, Today we honor our veterans, worthy men and women who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect their country. We pray that you will bless them, Lord, for their unselfish service in the continual struggle to preserve our freedoms, our safety, and our country’s heritage, for all of us. Bless them abundantly for the hardships they faced, for the sacrifices they made, for their many different contributions to America’s victories over tyranny and oppression. We respect them, we thank them, we honor them, we are proud of them, and we pray that you will watch over these special people and bless them with peace and happiness. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

A Prayer for Those Who Have Served

“God of compassion, God of dignity and strength, Watch over the veterans of the United States In recognition of their loyal service to our nation. Bless them with wholeness and love. Shelter them. Heal their wounds. Comfort their hearts. Grant them peace. God of justice and truth, Rock of our lives, Bless our veterans, these men and women of courage and valor, with a deep and abiding understanding of our profound gratitude. Protect them and their families from loneliness and want. Grant them lives of joy and bounty. May their dedication and honor be remembered as a blessing from generation to generation. Blessed are You, Protector and Redeemer, Our Shield and our Stronghold.”

A Pearl Harbor Prayer

“O God of our Fathers, we guard in our hearts today the sacred memory of those who gave their lives on that day which will live in infamy. Bless us, O Lord, as we humble ourselves in Thy presence to remember our shipmates and friends who served our country so valiantly. Let us not disgrace those who still lie in the quiet places through our indifference or forgetfulness. Rather, help us to always remember Pearl Harbor and help us to keep America alert. May we never forget that more than 2,000 of our sons, fathers, brothers, and friends were killed and more than 1,000 citizens of our land were wounded on December 7, 1941. Their sacrifices were not in vain. They defended America’s freedom and demonstrated America’s goodness. Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the brave men who embodied your love by making this ultimate sacrifice. You have declared “greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). May we be willing to follow their example when duty calls. We also give thanks for those who survived the attack on our country and who went on with their lives in a way that portrayed honor to a watching world. They carried on with life even as they bore deep within them the haunting memories of what they witnessed, heard, and felt. Bless them with continued grace and mercy from your holy hand. Guide us and direct us in all that we do. Let us live to bring glory and honor to Thee.  This we pray in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Prayer for Peace

“Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right. May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others. Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men were created.”