Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared this Sunday a “National Day of Prayer” for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our national response and recovery efforts.
During his remarks during the signing ceremony, President Trump noted that Americans have always come to the aid of each other:
Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen. 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.
From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need to ask for God’s blessing and God’s guidance. When we look across 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, and I have to tell you that 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 that they’ve seen in many, many years.
Families have given food and shelter to those in need. Houses of worship have organized efforts to clean up communities and repair damaged homes. People have never seen anything quite like this. 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.
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.
After his brief remarks President Trump signed the Proclamation making September 3, 2017, a National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our National Response and Recovery Efforts:
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY
AND FOR OUR NATIONAL RESPONSE AND RECOVERY EFFORTS
Hurricane Harvey first made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Rockport, Texas, on the evening of August 25, 2017. The storm has since devastated communities in both Texas and Louisiana, claiming many lives, inflicting countless injuries, destroying or damaging tens of thousands of homes, and causing billions of dollars in damage. The entire Nation grieves with Texas and Louisiana. We are deeply grateful for those performing acts of service, and we pray for healing and comfort for those in need.
Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen — friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger — and we vow to do so in response to Hurricane Harvey. From the beginning of our Nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need, to ask for God’s blessings and guidance. 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.
When we look across 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. Families have given food and shelter to those in need. Houses of worship have organized efforts to clean up communities and repair damaged homes. 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.
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.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 3, 2017, as a National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our National Response and Recovery Efforts. We give thanks for the generosity and goodness of all those who have responded to the needs of their fellow Americans. I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers today for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts. Each of us, in our own way, may call upon our God for strength and comfort during this difficult time. I call on all Americans and houses of worship throughout the Nation to join in one voice of prayer, as we seek to uplift one another and assist those suffering from the consequences of this terrible storm.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
During the signing ceremony, one participant said that people of faith of all backgrounds know that prayer changes things. . . . because no matter where we are, across whatever spectrum, we know that prayer changes things, and it unites a nation.
Gary Bauer reminded us that many Americans have forgotten that the country was built on a moral idea:
The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence — I know you know it: All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator — that’s God — with certain unalienable rights, among these are right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You can watch the proclamation signing ceremony here.
President Trump also dedicated his weekly address to prayers for the victims of Hurricane Harvey:
Transcript of President Trump’s Weekly Address: We Will Support Harvey Victims Today, Tomorrow, And The Day After:
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: My fellow Americans,
The heartbreaking devastation and suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey has profoundly affected our entire nation. Many homes and communities have been destroyed, many lives have been upended, and tragically, some have lost their lives in this catastrophic storm.
We pray for the victims and their families—and all of those who have been displaced from their homes.
At this very moment, heroic efforts continue to keep safe those threatened by this natural disaster.
I want to say a special word of thanks to our amazing first responders—our police and law enforcement officers, firefighters, Coast Guard, National Guard, EMS, doctors, nurses, hospital workers, and volunteers who have traveled from all across the country. Thousands of people have come together to prevent loss of life and ensure safety, and we are incredibly grateful for their courage, their professionalism, and their sacrifice.
They are an inspiration to all of us.
To the people affected by Hurricane Harvey: we are with you every single step of the way. We will help you recover. We will help you rebuild. We will support you today, tomorrow, and the day after.
We have been working closely with local authorities, and I remain in close communication with Governor Abbott of Texas and Governor Edwards of Louisiana.
At the request of Governor Abbott, I declared a major disaster in the State of Texas to ensure that federal aid is available for state and local recovery efforts. I also approved a disaster declaration for Louisiana.
Organizations like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and faith-based organizations are actively assisting on the ground and they are doing a fantastic job. I want to recognize the millions of citizens across the country who are contributing in every way they can—with their time, their resources, and their prayers.
When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. When we see neighbors in need, we rush to their aid. We don’t ask their names or where they are from—we help our fellow Americans every single time.
This is the spirit of America. It is exactly what I saw while in Texas this week—a spirit of love, determination, and resolve. A spirit, that even when wounded, never gives up—never gives in—never loses hope. We just keep fighting—we just keep pushing on, for the people we love, and for the nation we call home.
All American hearts are with the people of Texas and Louisiana. We mourn and pray and struggle through the hardships—together.
We know that a long and difficult path lies ahead to get our neighbors back in their homes and on their feet. But we also know that we are stronger than the obstacles in our path. Arm-in-arm, we will strive, we will endure, and we will emerge stronger than ever before.
Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.
Be thankful the president believes in the power of prayer.