Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller
On the Court House steps at 12:00 noon on Thursday, McKean County and Smethport Borough officials, along with local clergy, gathered to observe the National Day of Prayer. The Smethport High School Choir, under the direction of Nan McGraw, sang the National Anthem and Amazing Grace.
McKean County Commissioner Joseph C. DeMott, Jr. noted in the official county proclamation that on this day “… it is eminently fitting and proper that we in McKean County observe a day when all in our communities may acknowledge our many blessings and express gratitude to God for them while recognizing the need for strengthening of religious and moral values in our land.”
Smethport Mayor Ross Porter, said in the Borough proclamation that “… prayer has long been a positive force that unites our citizens of Smethport and serves as a source of inspiration and hope to countless individuals.”
In the Borough proclamation, Porter summarized the history of the National Day of Prayer…
It has been a part of our nation’s history since first being proclaimed by the Continental Congress in 1775. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation asking Americans to set aside April 30th as a day to “confess national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” Such a day has been observed nationally since 1952 when Congress and President Harry S. Truman provided for a National Day of Prayer “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation.” In 1988, legislation designating that a National Day of Prayer is to be observed on the first Thursday of every May was unanimously ratified by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan.
These photos captured the solemnity of the National Day of Prayer observance in Smethport.