“This hasn’t happened in a very long time…”
Surrounded by members of the clergy, President Donald Trump signed a declaration Friday designating Sunday as a day of prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
“From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together during times of great need to ask for God’s blessing and God’s guidance,” Trump said.
“It’s going to be a very special day. I don’t know when this was done last, but it’s been a long time ago,” Trump said to the clergy with him in the Oval Office.
Before signing the declaration, Trump praised the response to the crises caused by the hurricane.
“Friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger: We’ve seen it perhaps more so than at any time so vividly, at least during Hurricane Harvey,” Trump said.
“When we look at Texas and Louisiana, we see the American spirit of service embodied by countless men and women. Brave first responders have rescued those stranded in drowning cars and rising water,” he said.
Trump singled out the Coast Guard for praise.
“And I have to tell you, I’ve watched the Coast Guard; thousands of lives have been saved by our great Coast Guard. They have done incredible work in the most vicious seas.”
The proclamation urged all Americans to join in prayer on Sunday.
“As response and recovery efforts continue, and as Americans provide much needed relief to the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are reminded of scripture’s promise that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ Melania and I are grateful to everyone devoting time, effort and resources to the ongoing response, recovery and rebuilding efforts. We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members or friends and for those who are suffering in this time of crisis,” the proclamation said.
The nation has been united in the effort to support Texas and Louisiana, Trump added in the proclamation.
“Individuals of every background are striving for the same goal: to aid and comfort people facing devastating losses. As Americans we know that no challenge is too great for us to overcome — no challenge,” he wrote.
“We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members and friends and for those who are suffering from this great crisis,” he wrote.
In his proclamation, Trump noted that Americans uniting in a day of prayer is a tradition older than the nation itself.
“This tradition dates to June 12, 1775, when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and April 30, 1789, when President George Washington, during the Nation’s first presidential inauguration, asked Americans to pray for God’s protection and favor,” the proclamation said.
On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a day of prayer in Texas.
His proclamation noted that “throughout our history, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer,” adding that “it is right and fitting that the people of Texas should join with their fellow residents and with others from across the country and around the world to seek God’s wisdom for ourselves and our leaders and ask for His merciful intervention and healing in this time of crisis.”
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