Happy Independence Day

Twelve years ago today I found myself out by Dún Laoghaire harbor, and looked out to see the USS John F Kennedy. That was the most “American” July 4 for me, if only because that massive symbol of America in a foreign harbor reminded me of all my family that had served in the forces and who were celebrating the Fourth of July back home. So to celebrate this day, especially for our service members overseas, here’s an excerpt from a prayer by Venerable Master Hsing Yun that was posted on Buddhist Military Sangha.

Oh great compassionate Buddha!
May our armed forces:
Be able to understand
Both themselves and their opponents, and avoid danger;
Be well-versed
In the art of war and uphold justice;
Be able to exercise compassion and wisdom,
And achieve victory through martial virtues;
Be able to possess courage and kindness,
And win the war without fighting a battle.
May they defend the nation
With the spirit of fearlessness;
May they guard the people
With the courage of great compassion.

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