U.S. Marines, Sailors and civilians held a National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 2.

The United States annually sets aside the first Thursday in May as a day citizens, regardless of religious background, can pray together as a nation.

“This is a time when you get to focus on your soul and, in a sense, clear out the clutter,” said Lt. Grant D. Eubanks, chaplain, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune.

“Religious freedom is one of the reasons why America was founded,” Eubanks said. “The National Day of Prayer is for everyone, not just specific denominations, because when we are all faithful as one and we all love one another as equals, I believe that we are all better off.”

Breakfast attendees focused on deployed service members, families who have lost loved ones and people of faith around the world who face persecution.

“The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer is ‘Love One Another,’” Eubanks said. “The Bible scripture that inspired the theme is from John 13:34 - ‘Love one another, just as I have loved you.’”