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Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Thoughts

For John, BLUFEquality in death.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

While this memorial sermon, delivered at the Marine Cemetery on Iwo Jima, in March 1945, was not given on Memorial Day, it has all the sentiments that any Memorial Day presentation should have.  The presenter was Chaplain (Rabbi) Roland B. Gittelsohn, LT, USNR, the Marine Corps' first Jewish Chaplain.  A friend of mine sent along a link to the Sermon.  He also highlighted these three paragraphs (remember, 1944 America was a more separated and segregated nation than it is today—we have come a long way).
Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helped in her founding.  And other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores.  Here lie officers and men, Negroes and Whites, rich men and poor, together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews together.  Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color.  Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men there is no discrimination.  No prejudices.  No hatred.  Theirs is the highest and purest democracy…

Whosoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery.  To this then, as our solemn sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves:  To the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of White men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price…

We here solemnly swear this shall not be in vain. Out of this and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come, we promise, the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere.

Read the whole thing.

Regards  —  Cliff

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