Memorial and Independence Day’s behind us… Veteran’s Day before us…

July 19, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Days come and days go. Time ticks by ordinary days and extraordinary days … work days and holidays. Another President’s day comes and another one passes. Another anniversary … birthday … Christmas in the rear view mirror. Each holiday blending into the one before. If I’m going to be completely honest, this Memorial Day came and went without me giving it the amount of focus I normally do. Fortunately, as I was writing up some issues for a future catalog here at Rare Newspapers, I came across a moving poem with illustrations on the front page of a Nov. 11, 1921 CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE. This poem was 1st published on August 7, 1914 but, on this November day it was republished as they dedicated The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Below is the poem and above is a link to that issue so you can see the artwork as well. Perhaps everyday should be reverently approached as Memorial Day, with a grateful heart and compassion for the sacrifices made by others on our behalf.

Gold and green are the fields in peace.
Red are the fields in war.
Black are the fields when the canons cease.
And white forever more.

 

Contemplating Memorial Day in light of the last 15 months…

May 31, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m embarrassed. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, I was so consumed by “in the moment” issues I neglected to take the time on Memorial Day to be thankful for “those who have gone before us” – specifically, the men and women who gave their lives so those of us who reside in the United States could live in safety… freedom… hope – in a land where the ideals of the pursuit of happiness, equality, freedom of speech, etc., while not yet fully realized, were and continue to be part an parcel of the dream we call America. Starting with a revisit of a post from a few years ago, this year I’m committed to being more thankful for others and less self-consumed. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the following as much as I have while preparing this post:

Memorial Day… The Blue and the Gray…

We recently discovered an original issue of The Atlantic Monthly for September, 1867, which contained the earliest nationally distributed printing (and maybe the first ever) of ‘The Blue and the Gray,” by Francis Miles Finch. Although Memorial Day had not been officially proclaimed (via General Order #11, May 5, 1868), the practice of placing flowers and wreaths on the tombstones if the fallen was somewhat common. What was uncommon was the act of a group of women in Columbus, Mississippi, which is best described in the preface to Finch’s poem (quoted from the New York Tribune):

“The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than are many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers.”

In recognition of Memorial Day, please enjoy the full text of this grand expression of appreciation for those who have fallen in battle – be they blue or gray:

 

Two additional Memorial Day themed posts from the past are:

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

A simple reflection on Memorial Day…

Memorial Day… The Blue and the Gray…

May 27, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently discovered an original issue of The Atlantic Monthly for September, 1867, which contained the earliest nationally distributed printing (and maybe the first ever) of ‘The Blue and the Gray,” by Francis Miles Finch. Although Memorial Day had not been officially proclaimed (via General Order #11, May 5, 1868), the practice of placing flowers and wreaths on the tombstones if the fallen was somewhat common. What was uncommon was the act of a group of women in Columbus, Mississippi, which is best described in the preface to Finch’s poem (quoted from the New York Tribune):

“The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than are many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers.”

In recognition of Memorial Day, please enjoy the full text of this grand expression of appreciation for those who have fallen in battle – be they blue or gray:

 

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

May 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the United States perfect? Certainly not. Our forefathers did not sacrifice time, security, and in many cases, life or limb for the sake of a perfect system of government. Their hope was to establish a government for the people – which would provide the opportunity for all to pursue happiness in an environment free of governmental oppression and steeped with a host of inalienable rights. For some, “all” meant everyone. To others, “all” was defined quite narrowly. Still, even those who had a broader view understood the benefit of compromise – for the purpose of establishing a system which would have enough flexibility to adjust to their broader view of “all” over time. We know now the great advancement in this regards only came through a Civil War; however, it came. A perfect system? No. The best system ever constructed by man? Absolutely.

As we contemplate the great sacrifice paid by many to create and preserve this “best system” under God, the New York Tribune dated July 7, 1854 help us to capture the tension and need for growth that was evident to many in the 1850’s. Allow a negro to become a member of Congress? Could this be possible? Those who knew Frederick Douglass certainly thought so. Please enjoy:Blog-5-30-2016-Frederick-Douglass

A simple reflection on Memorial Day…

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Memorial Day – a day/weekend set aside in the United States to remember and give thanks for those who gave life and limb so we might have the freedom to enjoy what our Founding Fathers called “self evident inalienable rights” which had been bestowed on us by The Creator. In times of peace and abundance it is easy to forget the great cost that was paid by so many – that others might be free. It is with thin in mind I was struck by a March 20, 1861 issue of the Western Christian Advocate from Cincinnati, Ohio which provided details of General George Washington’s famous “Prayer at Valley Forge” (see below). The link above provides access to the full text of the article. Please enjoy (and appreciate) a blessed Memorial Day Weekend.Blog-5-26-2016-Washington's-Valley-Forge-Prayer

Arlington Cemetery is consecrated… 150 years ago…

May 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Arlington CemeteryArlington CemeteryMemorial Day – Unfortunately, for most, this hallowed holiday has degraded into nothing more than a day off to have family picnics and to rest. While these activities have value, too often we forget the cost paid by many to both provide and then preserve our ability to do so in a free and safe society. However, we recently discovered a video (see below) made to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the consecration of Arlington Cemetery which helps to bring us back to our roots. This also led us to explore our inventory to see if we could find any coverage which might relate – which, as you can see, we did in a New York Times from June 20, 1864.(see right) and a Harper’s Weekly from June 20, 1868 (see above). Feel free to read, watch, ponder… and be thankful.

Greater love has no One than this, that One lay down his life for His friends. (John 15:13)