The retired Air Force chaplain, now living in Birmingham, Ala., began by noting that “the song ‘God Bless America’ was introduced to this country 70 years ago, and in those seven decades, Lord you have indeed blessed us in so many ways.”
He continued, “We are here in this hall this evening safe and secure because there are men and women willing to serve others [and] they are standing guard against the enemies of freedom and ready to respond to the natural calamities that beset our lot from time to time. We ask you, God, to bless their efforts, bless their families, and bless us too.”
Flax also paid tribute to those suffering through Hurricane Gustav: “As our fellow citizens on the gulf coast emerge from the dark night of storm clouds and rain, may the light of God’s face shine upon them and bless them with peace.”
He is retired from the Air Force and was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi when he also served our community as its rabbi. I like him and many congregants were happy to see him back with us.