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Veterans Prayers

US Coast Guard
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The USCG has the most difficult mission possible in peace and war.

PRAYERS FOR THE COAST GUARDPRAYERS FOR THE COAST GUARD
 
Written and submitted by
Its Chaplains
 

Table of Contents
 
Morning Prayers
Grace for Meals
Commissioning
Cutters
Small Boats
Coast Guard Facility
Change of Command
Command at Sea
Shore Based Command
Retirement
Benedictions
Special Prayers
For Our President
Coast Guard Day
Marine Corps Birthday
For the Navy
Holocaust Memorial
Thanksgiving Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Evening Prayers
The Cutter
Morning Prayers

1
Teach me, O God, not to hold on to life too tightly. Teach me to hold it
lightly; not carelessly, but lightly, easily. Teach me to take it as a gift, to
enjoy and to cherish while I have it, and to let it go gracefully and thankfully
when the time comes. The gift is great, but the Giver is greater still. AMEN.

2
Heavenly Father, thou hast graciously blessed us with a rich, wonderful and good
world. We thank thee for all the blessings of this life: our families, our
homes, our jobs and our friends. All this has come from thine beneficent hand.
Remind us, though, of the fragility of our existence and help us to remember
that life is a gift and that each day is a new one - never mundane nor routine -
but given to us by the gracious hand of God. AMEN.

3
God, give us the will and the desire to launch out into deep waters and to aim
for the goals that are high and difficult; make us responsive to great things
when they call us; when our own powers are inadequate, show us where to turn for
the help we need. AMEN.

4
Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm hath bound the restless wave; awaken
in us a new appreciation of our land, that we may apply ourselves to the great
work of keeping alive a sense of freedom. Enkindle within us a flame of selfless
unwavering devotion to duty; that we may never be found wanting in those
qualities of spirit which alone are able to preserve hearth and home, the peace
of our nation, and the tranquillity of the world. This prayer we ask in the name
of God. AMEN.

5
Help us, this day, Lord, to transform our day so that we may work eagerly and
honestly and know that everything we do has a place in your purpose. We pray
that you also transform our family life so that we may learn in our homes the
peace, love and generosity we should show to all people. Help us in our national
commitment to help transform society. Inspire us to hunger and thirst for what
is right, to work against injustice wherever we find it and to treat our
coworkers with justice and respect by taking everything we do and turning it to
good ends. We pray this in your name. AMEN.
6
Heavenly Father, this day we pray that you turn our hearts and our minds to you,
that we may listen to your message whenever it comes. Help us to never despise
any person: to fight against every hurt or degradation of a human being; to give
our love and service not only to those who need rescue, but also to the poor,
the suffering, and the oppressed; for we are all worthy of your protection
because of the dignity you have bestowed upon us. We pray this in your name.
AMEN.
 
7
Father in Heaven, you have given us a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and
a heart to love you. Be with us today in all that we do, so that your light may
shine out in our lives. Help us to be today what you created us to be so that we
may praise your name in all that we do when we serve. Help us to be prepared to
search for what is true and right so that our freedoms may be ever secured and a
source for loving you. Help us to be secure in your love so that we might serve
our fellow citizens well this day. AMEN.

8
Spirit of God, as we begin this day we ask for the sure hope that your love is
stronger than the doubts which assail us. Help us to see the Coast Guard as one
family and that harmony comes not only from our common call to serve those in
need - but also in the wisdom of leadership. In Your name we pray. AMEN.

9
Give me the courage this day, O Lord, to do those things I know I should be
doing...give me the strength to keep from doing those things I know I should not
be doing...give the ability to properly tell which is which. Be with us all.
AMEN.
10
Lord, may what we begin today in effort and cooperation be done with your
inspiration...continue with your help...and be completed with your guidance.
Heavenly Father, guide us in our efforts...help us to persevere with faith,
courage and sincerity. AMEN.
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Grace for Meals

1
Bless, O Lord, this food to our use and us to thy service; and make us ever
mindful of the needs of others. In God's name we pray. AMEN.

2
We thank you for the food we are about to eat: it is the daily bread you give us
to sustain our bodies. We thank you for the gift of your word - the bread which
has come down from heaven to refresh our spirits. May we share the table of your
heavenly banquet where we shall never hunger and always be satisfied in knowing
and loving you. AMEN.

3
O God, we thank you for the food and friendship we share today. The food which
nourishes our bodies is your gift to us. It comes to us through the labor of our
farmers who, like mid-wives, bring your bounty forth from the earth. We thank
you for the friendships that are our gift to each other. They are the food for
our souls that sustain our spirits. Be with our families this day. Be with those
who have no bread or no one with whom to share their meal. Be with our
colleagues in far away and lonely posts on land, in the air, as well as those on
and under the sea. Be with us now and always. AMEN.

4
O God, you alone have no beginning or end. You are eternally without change. We
welcome you as our unseen guest at this meal as we think about what change means
to us. Bless the food we are about to eat that it may strengthen us to bring
changes in our lives to a successful ending. Bless our companionship at this
table that it may strengthen us to begin to see the new opportunities our
changing world is about to offer us. AMEN.

5
Eternal Father, for the continued blessing of Heaven we give you thanks. As you
feed our bodies so may our minds partake of that which is wholesome and pure.
With this physical and mental nourishment grant that we may so live in a way
that brings honor to the Coast Guard, our country, and ourselves. AMEN.

6
Our Father, we are mindful of those who have friends but no food...and those who
have food but no friends. We thank you this day that we have both. Help us to
befriend the friendless and to share our substance with those who hunger. AMEN.

7
Bless us, O Lord, our food and drink which we are about to receive from Your
bounty. Bless this house and those who live in it, granting them health, peace
and progress: For you are good and to You we ascribe glory now and forever.
AMEN.
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Commissioning

Cutter
Almighty and Eternal God, today as this ceremony begins, we bow our heads and
lift our hearts and spirits to you. For you, O God, are the lighthouse that
lights our paths, the compass that directs our lives, the anchor that sustains
our souls, the finisher of our faith and the fountain of all wisdom and power.
Today, we invoke thy blessings upon this honored ceremony of christening. We
rejoice that under the dispensation of your providence, in this particular
moment of U. S. Coast Guard history, you have made it possible for the skill and
labor of free people to bring the Coast Guard Cutter _____________ into being.
As we christen the __________, we commend it to your guidance, safety and care.
It was designed and built with a commitment to excellence in meeting the needs
of a new generation. Grant that its innovations and service be used to improve
the quality of life of those it will serve. And may its abilities be a
reflection of its namesake, in courage, perseverance and devotion to duty.
May our efforts this day, be a reflection of our hopes and dreams for our Great
Nation. May the future accomplishments of this ship become a part of the living
legacy of our great country. In your most holy Name we pray. AMEN.
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Small Boat
Almighty God, we acknowledge your masterful design in all creation and your
absolute authority to direct our every deed. How small our accomplishments seem
when compared to the majesty and wonder of your works.
Yet we stand with pride before this symbol of what human hands can do, and
commend to you, Lord, the honest labors of the men and women whose hands have
given birth to this great vessel. May there come now to those who have been
laborers in its planning and construction, the inner satisfaction of a job well
done.
We also celebrate the honor, respect and devotion to duty displayed in the lives
of the men and women who will breathe life into this vessel in the months and
years that follow. Grant to them endurance to master the rigors of their duties;
the courage to face the often fierce and hostile waters that lie ahead; and your
divine protection over them when they are called upon to go in harms way to
rescue foundering souls from their pride or peril.
Finally, to the coxswains who will lead the men and women of the crew, christen
their hearts with an abundant portion of your wisdom and grace.
All of this we ask in God's name. AMEN.
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Coast Guard Facility
Eternal God and Creator, we gather today to commission the
_____________________________ and dedicate the men and women who will provide an
essential service to our nation, and our Coast Guard.
We give you thanks, Lord, for those who dedicated their efforts in the planning,
organization and commissioning of this Unit. Reward the fruit of their labors in
the coming years, through the devoted efforts of those charged with the
execution of its mission.
Guide and support all those who will bear the responsibility and challenge of
command, and impress upon the men and women who are called to serve in support
of their leadership, the need to establish a standard of excellence for others
to follow in the years ahead.
Create in the hearts of all who serve as a member of this Unit, a spirit of
cooperation, where the work environment is characterized by a strong commitment
to teamwork, equal opportunity, respect for diversity, and commitment to human
dignity. May their actions always reflect well upon themselves and the United
States Coast Guard.
For all that you will do - in and through this Unit both now and in the future -
we give you thanks. In your Name we pray. AMEN.
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Change of Command
Command at Sea
O God, we begin today's Change of Command Ceremony by humbly recognizing the
importance of your presence and influence in our lives. We are a "nation under
God." Therefore, grant us the full assurance that your perfect will shall be
done in our midst here today, as we share together in this time-honored Coast
Guard tradition.
As we witness the torch of leadership pass from ___________to __________, may
the rich symbolism of this event help to deepen our understanding and
appreciation for the awesome demands, responsibilities and sacrifices our nation
places upon those Coast Guard men and women who are called to assume
Command-at-sea. May this ceremony serve as a fitting tribute to these two
individuals, whose honor, respect, and devotion to duty have earned them the
distinct privilege to serve as Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Cutter
__________.
May this ceremony assist the crew of the __________ to reaffirm their loyalty;
renew their vision; and rededicate their best efforts to the honorable service
for which this ship was commissioned. May each member of the crew pledge their
untiring faithfulness to the leadership of their new Commanding Officer. And
Lord, grant them the courage and innovative skills to address the challenges of
the future with a heightened sense of commitment, which mirrors the standard of
excellence our nation has come to expect of them. All this we ask in your Name.
AMEN.
Command at Sea
Almighty God, we ask your blessing upon us as we participate in this time
honored Coast Guard Tradition - the Change of Command Ceremony. Today, the torch
of leadership passes from __________to __________. May this ceremony leave us
with a greater understanding and appreciation for those whose authority to
command we acknowledge, confirm, and pass on this day. Inspire us with your
wisdom, that we may appreciate the true nature of Command and the serious
consequences that flow from it.
We thank you, O God, for the wisdom inherent in the Change of Command Ceremony,
creating within us, as it does, a sense of the incredible commitment and
sacrifice required of those who go down to the sea in ships, and the families
and loved ones who stand behind them. Help us Lord, to use this occasion to
celebrate the ideals of fidelity, courage and honor and rededicate ourselves
anew to the core values we hold so dear.
For __________, we ask that his/her loyalty and faithful dedication to duty
continue to serve as a legacy for his/her shipmates aboard __________, now and
in the future.
For __________, as he/she assumes the challenge of command, we pray that he/she
will feel a sense of confidence and assurance when he/she turns to you for
guidance in those lonely moments of decision.
May the crew of the __________continue to set a standard of excellence which
will serve to bring honor and praise to You, our nation and the United States
Coast Guard. In thy name we pray. AMEN.
Command at Sea
Those who have been to sea in ships and dwelled in the shadow of your majestic
creation have sensed your divine power. Attune our hearts anew, O God, to your
presence with us today as we gather for this Change of Command Ceremony. We are
here to honor our Commander, __________, and to give thanks for his/her devoted
and selfless leadership. May we continue to be inspired by his/her example. As
___________ and his/her family prepare to leave our community, we ask that their
memories be pleasant and that they enjoy a sense of great accomplishment in
their service to our nation.
As the mantle of responsibility is transferred to __________, bless him/her with
the knowledge of your divine presence and may your hand be his/her stay and
guide. Grant him/her wisdom and strength for the coming days. We pray in your
Holy Name. AMEN.
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Shore Based Command
Eternal God, today we gather together to bid farewell to the Commanding Officer
of (place)__________, (name) __________, and welcome our new Commanding Officer,
(name) __________.
As we participate in this ceremony let us not forget your presence here. Let us
not forget that a king is not saved by the might of his army, neither does a
warrior escape by his great strength, but it is you, O God, who keeps us from
falling; it is you keeps us from death.
Today we earnestly pray for your anointing upon these two individuals. May they
feel and experience the power of your spirit upon their lives. May you bless
their families and may you bless those of us here, who place our lives and
loyalty in their hands.
All of this we ask in your Name. AMEN.

Shore Based Command
Today is a time for change (in/for)__________. President John F. Kennedy once
said, " Change is the law of life; and those who look only to the past or
present are certain to miss the future." We call upon the presence and power of
the unchanging God to bless us during this time of change:
Dear God, help us to make good changes, and properly adjust to change. May you
continue to watch over our departing Commanding Officer, __________; and watch
over us and our new Commanding Officer, __________. Thank you for the many
blessings in the past, and may we look forward to the wonderful blessings that
are to come.
In your Name we pray. AMEN.
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Retirement

1
Almighty God and Creator, in whom we live and move and have our being; you have
designed us to work and toil and enjoy the fruits of our labor. In addition you
have designed us with the need for rest. As Solomon in the Old Testament
expressed, "There is a time plant and a time to uproot."
Today we share in the celebration of __________ who has served the Coast Guard
for over ____ years.
Planting and uprooting his/her family over those years from the decks of the CGC
______ and ______ to the lands of __________, __________, __________,
__________, and here at ___________.
It is his/her time to rest and plant anew. In this day and age when lasting
commitments are taboo - we thank you that we can highlight these years of
commitment.
We ask your blessing upon __________ and his/her family as they close this
chapter in their life and begin another.
This prayer we ask in God's Name. AMEN.
 
2
Heavenly Father, today we are grateful to recognize the accomplishments of our
fellow shipmate and friend, __________. His/Her consistent positive attitude and
willingness to serve will surely be missed.
We are grateful for his/her many years of faithful service and for his/her
spouse, ______, who has sacrificed much for his/her career in the Coast Guard.
Now, O God, today we pray for your presence in this ceremony. May it bring honor
to the Coast Guard and may the memories of __________ inspire us all to continue
serving our country with dignity and pride.
All of this we ask in your Name. AMEN.
3
God, we thank you for the privilege and opportunity to pay tribute to our
retiring shipmate, __________, and his/her family. We join hearts with them in
celebration of this significant milestone in their lives. __________ has served
honorably in service to you, our nation, and the United States Coast Guard. For
this, we ask you, Lord, in keeping with the tender words of our great sea
tradition, to grant him/her and his/her family "fair winds and following seas."
May the memory of their faithful devotion to serve others, command our attention
this day, and serve to inspire within us a desire to be found as equally
faithful in our duties at the close of our own years of service. We now entrust
our shipmate and his/her family into your eternal and loving care. All this we
ask in your name. AMEN.
4
Lord, we thank you for this moment to honor a faithful Coast Guard Officer,
__________, who has devoted ____ years of his life to the service of his
country. Throughout those years, __________ faithfully stood the watch in
defense of our nation and his/her fellow shipmates. Father, we thank you for the
standard of excellence that he/she established for himself/herself and for those
who served under his/her leadership. His/Her influence in the lives of many
young Coast Guard men and women, who looked to him/her for leadership and
guidance over the years, is clearly evidenced by the many who have assembled
here today to pay him/her tribute.
Throughout those years of service, he/she was often called upon to stand the
watch, where the faithful execution of his/her duties commanded the respect of
his/her seniors and assured the safety and well-being of his/her fellow
shipmates. Yet his/her service was not without sacrifices and hardships; both
personally and professionally. His/her duties often involved periods of
separation from his/her home and family; yet, his/her untiring devotion to duty
and service to his/her country remained true to those men and women who served
by his/her side.
May his/her example serve as a benchmark for all who serve in the future, and
may his/her memory of this occasion serve as a fitting tribute for years to
come. As he/she and ______ set out in a new direction in their lives, grant them
your divine peace and protection. We entrust them into your eternal care; and
hope for them "fair winds and following seas." In God's name we pray. AMEN.
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Benedictions

1
And now Lord, be Thou with us to strengthen us; outside us, to keep us; love us,
to protect us; beneath us, to uphold us; before us, to direct us; behind us, to
keep us from straying; round about us, to defend us. AMEN.

2
Unto God's gracious mercy and protection, we commit ourselves. The Lord bless
us, and keep us; the Lord make His face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto
us; the Lord lift up His countenance upon us, and give us peace, both now and
forevermore. AMEN.

3
Almighty God, help us to remember that freedom does not automatically perpetuate
itself, that we have to work at it, nurture it, protect it, and pray for it. Let
us be ever mindful that freedom needs our attention and our cooperation. Be with
us now as we go about our daily lives ; and let us never forget to reflect your
loving kindness on all those with whom we meet. AMEN.

4
May our days be filled with laughter and love,
May our lives overflow with fulfillment and satisfaction,
And may God give us a song for our hearts; peace for our souls;
And many years of good health to our lives. AMEN.
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Special Prayers

For Our President
Almighty and everlasting God, look with favor upon the work of our President,
our Commander-in-Chief. May he always seek Thy honor and glory that he may lead
us in all good things. Bless with wisdom, guidance, and understanding all those
who are with political leadership and authority that our nation may be strong in
morals and sound in manners. AMEN.
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Coast Guard Day
God, we thank you for this special day. It is our Birthday. It is a day to rest
from our daily labor. It is a day to share our daily bread with each other. It
is a day to challenge each other to a different kind of excellence.
May we be refreshed today - in body and soul.
May we be renewed today - in mind and spirit.
May we be re-dedicated today - in word and deed.
Lord, in everything we do, may we please you, may we be all that we can be and
may we do for those whom we help what we would like them to do for us. AMEN.
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Marine Corps Birthday
God, today we celebrate the lives and deeds of our Marines, our country's
faithful guardian in war, its gladiator in the area of battle, its lifeguard in
the raging tides of conflict.
You are semper fidelis - always faithful to us. We ask you to keep them semper
fidelis - ever faithful to you. May they always do what is right and ever reject
what his wrong. May they be patient in adversity, courageous under fire and
modest in victory. AMEN.
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For the Navy
Eternal God, you alone spread out the heavens and rule the raging of the sea.
Take into your most gracious protection our country's Navy and all who serve
therein. Preserve them from the dangers of the sea and from the violence of the
enemy; that they may be a safeguard unto the United States of America, and a
security for such as sail upon the seas in peaceful and lawful missions. In
serving you, O God, may our sailors serve their country. AMEN.
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Holocaust Memorial
Merciful God, today we remember those who have gone to their eternal home with
you. We recall those whose spirits were oppressed by the myth of the Aryan
superman; those whose bodies were enslaved in labor camps under the slogan "Work
makes you free" and those whose lives were extinguished in the camps of Dachau,
Auschwitz, Bergen-Blesen, and a hundred other camps.
We pray that their memories may inspire us to serve you and our fellow human
beings in truth, kindness and peace. AMEN.
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Thanksgiving Day
Gracious Lord of the harvest, in love you give us this day to be our joy and our
delight. We thank you for the goodness of the people of our country and for the
spirit of justice that shapes our nation.
We thank you for the beauty and the bounty of our land and for the challenge of
our cities. We thank you for our work and for our rest, for one another, and for
our homes.
For all we have spoken, and all that we keep in our hearts, accept our
Thanksgiving Day. In your Name we pray. AMEN.
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Memorial Day
Lord our God, we give thanks to you for the great land of our birth with all its
liberties and many blessings.
Today we especially give thanks for those who served their country in its hour
of need, and for our fallen comrades, who have given their very lives in that
service. May we never forget their sacrifice.
Lord, watch over those military men and women on American and foreign soils this
day, who knowing the real and potential dangers of their work, stand ready to
preserve the cause of freedom with the devotion to duty as those who served
before them.
Grant your continued Divine care over the family members who are called upon
daily to watch and wave good-bye to their loved ones as they go to their duty as
members of our nation's Armed Forces. Honor their devotion and sacrifice.
This prayer we offer in thy Name. AMEN.
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Independence Day
God, our Father, on this Independence Day, we pause for a few moments to give
you thanks for a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the principle that
all men and women are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights
to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Give to the people of our country
a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty
in accordance with your gracious will. AMEN.
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Evening Prayers

1
We pause at the ending of the day to thank thee, O God, for life itself; for the
wonders of existence, for our family, and friends; our food and shelter and all
the necessities of life. We thank thee, also, for the unexpected things that
make life happy and bright, and for the common things, like water and light. We
are grateful, too, for the difficulties of life, the sorrows and hardships, for
by them and through them we enter more and more deeply into the meaning of
existence. AMEN.
2
God, when the winds are against us, help us to keep our spirits and our wills
serene and strong; we know that all things are not arranged for our comfort and
our convenience; we know that there will be times when things will go against
us; but we know, too, that thou hast given us the spirit whereby we may be the
master of our lives. Help us to put our trust in thee so that we may go steadily
on our way. AMEN.
 
3
Give us, O God, the courage to do the things we talk about and to practice the
faith we preach. Let us never withdraw into the cloister for our own safety, but
let us be there long enough to find our true center in him who will give us
strength to keep our eyes on the distant goal, and to navigate as well as we
can. AMEN.
 
4
God, it has been a busy and demanding day for many of us. Others will just be
starting their watches and working hours. Help us to stop and catch our breath -
to give you thanks for these moments in our lives. May we feel a sense of
accomplishment for a difficult and dangerous job, done well. Give us, tonight, a
very special sense of personal pride in ourselves, our jobs, and our Coast
Guard. May that pride be obvious to all with whom we come in contact. AMEN.

5
As we retire to our beds for rest unto our bodies, we turn to Thee for rest unto
our souls. We are not tired by labor but restless with anxiety and uncertainty.
May the calm of Thy spirit smooth the rough seas of our lives and give us refuge
from all the cross currents and winds which we encounter in the new day. AMEN.

6
Pardon, O Lord, we beseech Thee for all we have done amiss in hasty actions or
speech. Warm our hearts with holy fellowships that we may be able to find
nurture for our highest resolves and hope for their reality. Help us to give
words of encouragement that a shipmate may not despair. Lead us out of this
night into a new day when we can try again. AMEN.
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THE CUTTER
(Author Unknown)
When she steams into the harbor
People don't flock 'round like bees;
For she ain't no grim destroyer,
No dark terror of the seas.
And there ain't a load of romance
To the guy that doesn't know,
In a ship that just saves vessels
When the icy northers blow.
But men that sail the ocean
In a wormy, rotten craft,
When the sea ahead is mountains
With a hell-blown gale abaft;
When the mainmast cracks and topples
And she's lurching in the trough,
Them's the guys that greet the "Cutter"
With the smiles that won't come off.
When the old storm signal's flyin',
Every vessel seeks a lee,
'Cept the "Cutter," which ups anchor
And goes ploughing out to sea,
When the hurricane's a-blown'
From the Banks of old Cape Cod
Oh, the "Cutter," with her searchlight,
Seems the messenger of God.

<Back to Table of Contents>

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