July/August 2012 Church & State | AU Bulletin

If U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) gets his way, a prayer delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on D-Day will be added to the National World War II Memorial in Washington.

The bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Portman May 10, would require the Secretary of the Interior to place a plaque or inscription of the prayer on the monument.

Before the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, Roosevelt prayed, in part: “Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace.”

In a statement, Portman said Roosevelt’s prayer “brought strength and comfort to many” and “will forever be etched in our history.” But the Obama administration says the World War II memorial was designed with ample public input and should not be altered now.

Americans United Communications Director Joseph L. Conn was critical of S.3078.“It’s a shameless attempt to make the Obama administration, which wants to leave the completed memorial the way it is, look anti-prayer and anti-religion,” he told The Christian Post. “The brave soldiers who died on D-Day… deserve our eternal gratitude. Adding a prayer to the memorial is not an appropriate way to honor their sacrifice.”

The House version of the bill passed 386-26 in January, but the Senate had not yet considered the matter at press time.