(Editor’s note: Hue Fortson was scheduled to deliver the closing prayer, but was unable to get to the cemetery before the service ended. The following is the prayer he would have delivered.)
God in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, I would ask that you bless us your people as we are here today to honor and dedicate these stones that have the names of our relatives and friends that perished on November 18, 1978.
It was not planned for in the original plan, but things changed, and we that are gathered here today hold in our hearts some pain and hurt because of the loved ones that we can no longer talk to. And I ask that there be a special blessing upon these stones in that everyone that will come and view the names, let them be reminded to love life as never before and show it to the ones in their own families. I pray for those that have labored down through the years encouraging most if not all of us that were a part of Peoples Temple, by choice or as a parent.
In the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes, in the third chapter, it says, To every thing there is a time and a season. We have all had a time of grief for our loved ones, and even though we will never forget, it is now a time of healing and forgiveness, and yes I did say forgiveness! We were all left here for a purpose, and remember we could have all been part of that number that did perish.
God bless and keep us safe, and as we are finding and are walking in our purpose, let us remember to issue out life and, most of all, love.