From 1944: Sacramentans keep up war work, plan prayer services

D-Day, June 6, 1044

05/15/2014 2:08 PM

06/06/2014 6:01 AM

Originally published in The Sacramento Bee on June 6, 1944

With a prayer in their hearts for the safety of their loved ones, engaged in the greatest and most dangerous military invasion in all history, Sacramentans took no time off today on D Day but went routinely about their tasks trying to do their part to speed victory.

Governor Earl Warren sounded the note for Liberation Day, declaring it marks "certainly the most solemn hour in the history of our country.

"We have no doubt as to the ultimate outcome," he added. "All we can do here at home is send over all we can and pray for the safety of those in battle.

"The greatest blow for freedom of all times is being struck. Our country is in the forefront and it must succeed. Every American must do his part.

"On the battlefront our men in arms are shedding blood. Here at home our duty is plain and inescapable. We must work hard, pray fervently and be united. That is America's greatest assurance for speedy victory."

Assembly Has Prayer

The lower house of the state legislature opened the day's session with payers for the success of the invasion. Following an oral prayer by the assembly chaplain, Dr. Clarence A. Kircher of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, the members stood for a moment of silent prayer.

Dr. Kircher said:

"As word comes of the invasion of Europe we pray for the president of the United States, our commander in chief, the governor of this state, amd all in authority over us. We pray for those serving in the armed forces and for their loved ones here at home in the anxious moments. We pray for our Allies and all who serve with us in the struggle to free the enslaved millions of the world."

Churches Plan Rites.

Several churches planned special services and all were open so that members of their congregations might offer individual prayers.

Dean William C. Pearson announced a prayer service for the safety of the invasion forces will be held at 8 o'clcok tonight in the Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal, and Rev. Arnold C. Schultz said a special prayer service is set for the same time in St. Luke's American Lutheran Church.

Rev. Robert S. Romeis stated St. John's Lutheran Church will be open for the next few days for prayers.

Roosevelt Will Pray

Tonight, also, in thousands of homes, Americans will join with President Roosevelt in a special prayer which he wrote while closeted in his bedroom during the early hours of the invasion. He will be heard over all major networks from 7 to 7:06 o'clock (Pacific War Time) and may be heard locally over The Bee radio station, KFBK.

Immediately after, KFBK will air a special all faith program in which Governor Earl Warren, Mayor Tom Mank and representatives of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Christian Science faiths will take part. These are Rev. Father Thomas Kirby, Rev. A. Raymond Grant, Rabbie Alexander Feinsilver and P.C. McChesney.

Depot Keeps Busy

The importance of the work of thousands of civilian workers are doing at McClellan Field was brought forcibly to them as the invasion began.

Colonel Horace S. Kenyon, commanding officer of the Sacramento Air Service Command, speaking in the temporary absence of Brigadier General C.W. Howard, said:

"D Day at the Sacramento Air Service Command brought a rededication from all employees to the successful completion of their assigned tasks. Throughout the gigantic shops and many offices of this installation, workers are going about their production assignments with renewed determination and in the firm belief that through their efforts can they best give hope for victory for our invading troops."

At regular intervals during the day, the workers were kept informed of the progress of the invasion.

Mather Work Continues

Colonel Carl W. Pyle, commanding officer of Mather Field, declared:

"This is a fateful day for us here at Mather Field, for many of the men trained here now are right in the midst of the battles over Europe. Our prayers and our hopes are with them."

Meanwhile, the training of more fliers for America's victorious air armada proceeded at the field.


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