On Thursday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” the host discusses President Donald Trump’s reading of FDR’s prayer following the landing at Normandy, France during the Second World War. Video and partial transcript below:
I was watching the ceremonies in Normandy yesterday and you know, just incredibly touching. You know, I remember … I’m old enough to have had a 7th-grade teacher who was actually in D-Day, and I remember him talking about, you know, walking over the carpet — charging over the carpet of bodies that lay on the beach. As he spoke, he became almost … he was almost there, you could tell his voice sped up and his eyes kind of got that thousand-yard stare, and then he just went back to being our social studies teacher. But it was that close.
You know, I mean my dad was in the war and all the adults around us probably suffered from PTSD without us even knowing what PTSD was. So, it really did affect us. And I grew up, of course, playing soldier and fighting the Nazis in my backyard with my brothers. When people started to burn their draft card, that to me was absolutely shocking. I have to say, even though I was a liberal and I was on the left and was sympathetic with the left, I never found that heroic. I never found it heroic that people burned their draft cards or went to Canada.
Although I will have to say I missed the draft. I was too young to be in the draft. But I don’t know what I would have done had I been drafted at that point. The war had been so discredited, even though today I think there’s a lot of questions about whether it helped stop Chinese aggression. Because they just thought we were so crazy to expend that many men and that much treasure fighting them in Vietnam. Who knew what we would do in the rest of the world?
So anyway, it was clear that the values had changed. I mean obviously, the long hair and the hippies and the tune in and drop out and the free sex all that made my father’s generation, the greatest generation, just quail and they looked at us and they thought that we were absolutely crazy. Obviously too, I think you know good things have happened since then. I think our speech is a little freer in some ways so far. I think we’re a little more tolerant than we were. I think people were more certainly more integrated than we were then. But still, I think we’re all haunted by the sense that something has been lost.
There’s a reason that “Make America Great Again” slogan resonates with the people who support Trump and drives the people who don’t support Trump crazy. So, I was watching Trump yesterday and the thing that he did yesterday that really moved me and really got to me was he read FDR’s prayer.
“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity … They will need Thy blessings … For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces… but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph … Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom … And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade … Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”
Well, the conservative commentary almost writes itself, right. I mean I feel almost cheap … You don’t need me. I’m trying to give added value to the news, but you don’t need me to write the conservative commentary on that. There was the liberal president that the Conservatives of the day hated as they hated Obama. Although, I think FDR was a far, far greater president in a far, far more dangerous time, but he did a lot of the things, a lot of things he did I didn’t like. But clearly, a nation that listened to that prayer and knew that their sons were out there and were praying with him is a different nation than we have today.