us bow our heads in prayer. God of history and of all mankind. God of
Abraham and Moses, Amos and Isaiah, Jesus and Paul. God of our weary
years, God of our silent tears pour thy benediction upon the United
States of America.
Pour it out upon President Kennedy
and the members of his cabinet upon whose shoulders
the destiny of all mankind may rest. Pour it out upon the nine Justices
of the United States Supreme
Court who need wisdom to interpret wisely and courage to hand
down just decisions. Pour out thy benediction, God, upon the members of
Congress, who need wisdom, courage, a sense of justice, deep faith in
democracy and an abiding faith in their God to enact legislation that
will further implement American dreams.
Here we are, God, one hundred-eighty million people, one hundred years
the slaves, ninety-eight years after the close of a bloody civil war,
fought to preserve one nation under God, indivisible. One hundred
eighty-seven years after Jefferson
declared that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among
these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Here we are God, confused, baffled, floundering, afraid, faithless,
debating whether the Congress of the United States should pass
legislation guaranteeing to every American the equal protection of the
law. Debating whether its business should have the right to discriminate
against a man because thou, oh God, made him black.
peace and in war thou hast blessed America as the nations of the earth
look to the United States for moral and democratic leadership. May we
not fail them, nor thee. Please God, in this moment of crisis and
indecision give the United States wisdom, give her courage, give her
faith to meet the challenge of this hour. Guide, teach, sustain and
bless the United States, and help the weary travelers to overcome,
someday soon. Amen.
A recording of a previously taped event continues on the ¼ inch
archival tape, unrelated to the March on Washington, until