True Parents’ message at the USA National Memorial Service
Founder’s Address to the USA National Memorial Service
Read by Professor Yeon Ah Choi Moon
Manhattan Center, New York – September 20, 2014
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for gathering together today to honor the life and legacy of my beloved husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, who ascended to the spiritual world two years ago. I am very moved by the kind tribute to the work he and I have offered together for the sake of God’s providence.
At the time of our Holy Blessing Ceremony in 1960, amidst a handful of followers gathered in a tiny house in Seoul, my husband and I pledged before God to work until our dying breath to build a world of peace and prosperity for all. I remember that day as vividly as if it were yesterday.
We were not naïve or unaware of the challenges we would face. The forces of good and evil were ever present and real. Through it all, we directly experienced the love, guidance and protection of our Heavenly Parent in the most intimate and powerful ways. God inspired our absolute faith, commitment and determination.
Today, our world faces a multitude of challenges, from climate change and poverty to geopolitical tension, terrorism and interreligious conflict; family breakdown, crime, and moral and spiritual confusion. These problems cannot be solved through mere human efforts, for their root is buried deep in the human heart; in selfishness and our separation from God. This is why my husband and I dedicated ourselves and our family to bring about a spiritual and moral awakening as the only real foundation for global peace.
God created the family as the school of love. The family is the most fundamental and necessary of all human institutions. When it fails, the society, nation and world fail. When we restore the health of marriage and family, centered on God, we can restore the world.
This is why we instituted the Holy Blessing of Marriage, in which the husband and wife stand in faith before God as his image and reflection, promising that they will be faithful to each other and will never divorce. We have blessed 144,000 religious couples in America and millions more worldwide. This global foundation is growing each and every day.
Religions also have a critical role to play. The great civilizations throughout history endured due to their spiritual foundations. Religion calls us to examine the deeper reality of our existence, to turn our eyes, our hearts and our minds toward heaven, and to listen to those who have been sent by God to this earth.
For the faith communities to fulfill their central role for family and peace we need a new spiritual awakening to realize the fact that God is the center of all faiths, and that we are all ‘one family under God.’
America itself was founded on this spirit and its founding principles uphold religious freedom for all faiths, races and cultures. My husband often said that the quickest way to peace is for religious leaders themselves to lead the way by exemplifying love for one another. All too often, faith communities do not practice true love for those of other faiths, and this breaks the heart of God. That is why our movement works to bring together leaders and believers from all spiritual traditions, in mutual respect and cooperation. It is that important.
My husband and I lived and worked in the United States for almost 40 years. We grew to love America deeply, based not on simple nationalism or a lack of awareness of her flaws, but rather on an understanding of America’s unique position and responsibility. Many countries around the world have admired and emulated the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. America was indeed blessed by God, and has been called to a sacred mission.
But with that grace from God comes great responsibility, to serve and share with other nations in order to establish a world of true love and lasting peace. Unfortunately, beginning in the 1960s, many people in the United States began to lose sight of that truth. We began to see the spread of drug abuse, free sex, individualism and materialism. This began a trend toward spiritual and moral decline that continues to plaque America today.
When we arrived in the United States in 1971, my husband and I sought to bring about a great awakening through a grass-roots movement dedicated to spiritual and moral renewal. In his early speeches, my husband said that God had called him to serve “as a doctor or fire fighter.” We came to heal this nation, to put out the fire of selfishness and corruption and to rekindle the God-centered spirit that had prevailed at the time of America’s founding.
Later, we traveled to nearly every country on the face of the earth, conveying God’s word. Sometimes it seemed as if we were spending our entire lives either in an airplane or on a stage. I recall that many times my husband spoke until his throat was sore. In his later years, we had to keep an oxygen tank and an ambulance on standby when he spoke in the mountainous regions of South America or Central Asia.
The providential path of the True Parents of humankind is indeed a long and arduous one, like navigating a ship through a terrifying storm. Despite the challenges we faced, once again we give thanks to God that all the obstacles have always been overcome.
Ever since first being called by God to embrace all humanity with the heart of True Parents, my husband and I have invested our entire beings for the sake of God’s liberation, the salvation of humankind and the realization of a peaceful world. I pray now that we can all join together in this great mission to build a unified world of peace and prosperity, as one family under God.
May God’s blessings be with every one of you, your families and may God Bless America!