This is the invocation that I delivered at my dear husband’s retirement ceremony last week.

As we work through the many Halfway Out of the Dark holidays at this time of year, I hope you and yours have wonderful celebrations and are able to respect the traditions of others.

Throughout his career, my husband has endeavored to uphold and defend the values enshrined in the Constitution to which he swore his oath as an officer. One of the most important of those values is the freedom of religion.

At this time it is traditional to have an invocation to hallow the conclusion of a military career, but we are acutely aware that no invocation can adequately include the diversity of spirituality represented here or in the broader fabric of American society which he has so faithfully served.

Instead we invite you to join in a moment of silent reflection and, if you wish, to invoke the blessings of divinity.

Together we acknowledge his service, we are grateful for all that it has encompassed, and we lift up our hopes for the future.