Decoration Day. As a Navy commander in uniform, I have, at the behest of my superiors, given Memorial Day speeches in quiet old Pennsylvania neighborhoods. In my Southern heritage, families were to decorate the graves of Confederate, and also Union, soldiers who had died in the 1861-1865 Civil War that so ravished our land and devastated us as a nation. Memory fails that might be verified or corrected by a visit to PCNH archives, but mine is Memorial Day parades moving north on Harrison Avenue; bringing up the end were always open touring cars conveying ancient veterans honored together, our Confederate in Gray uniforms, their Union veterans in Blue, cheered and applauded one and all. In my early childhood, that war was no farther back in history and sentiment than WW2 is today, family stories and feelings as keen, sharp, sometimes bitter. Were we right? We were on the other side of history, which Might writes. But no, we were not right.
Thinking about current political correctness, I could wish anyway for culture to wait until the last of us are gone before erasing, but I surely do not wish that for Germany, where, ashamed, they have vigorously erased. Ours may equally need erasing. Still, we humans are certitudinous, as impatiently certain and determined as, someone said, a Christian Fundamentalist rising from his knees and going forth to do the will of God. As εἰκόνα Θεοῦ, we are grotesque.
For me, grateful to have been conceived and loved and lived and loving, though in no hurry for it to be over, sad to live into this era of national divisiveness and hatred that I do not see ending in my Time.
As for the Gray, our battle-flag I can let go: no longer heritage, it has become a symbol of evil, flown from the backs of pickup trucks driven by ignorant white trash. But if RELee was not your childhood hero, perhaps let him stand in peace anyway until you see my name on page 4.
Bubba somewhere this morning, musing foolishly - -
Packard: pls pardon, shutterstock