On this day in 1890, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, is born in Texas.
“Ike,” as he was affectionately called, had the words “under God” inserted in to the pledge of allegiance, and Ike made “In God We Trust” our nation’s official motto.
Those are a few reasons why “I like Ike.”
Now, “[m]y friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads.”
That’s how Eishenhower began his inaugural address on January 20, 1953.
His prayer proves pertinent, even today:
“Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race or calling.
May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”
Then, having concluded his prayer, and getting further in to his address, he asked a question that may have no earthly answer:
“In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know the full sense and meaning of these times in which we live. In our quest of understanding, we beseech God’s guidance. We summon all our knowledge of the past and we scan all signs of the future. We bring all our wit and all our will to meet the question:
How far have we come in man’s long pilgrimage from darkness toward the light? Are we nearing the light–a day of freedom and of peace for all mankind? Or are the shadows of another night closing in upon us?”
At such a time…
Next, he calls for a renewal of faith. That’s a call each generation needs to answer:
“At such a time in history, we who are free must proclaim anew our faith. This faith is the abiding creed of our fathers. It is our faith in the deathless dignity of man, governed by eternal moral and natural laws.
This faith defines our full view of life. It establishes, beyond debate, those gifts of the Creator that are man’s inalienable rights, and that make all men equal in His sight.”
Perhaps Our time in history isn’t much different.
(Be sure to “Unscroll…” more about Ike by searching Our other posts.)