Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 31, 2011 / 27 Iyar, 5771

Marking the mystic chords of memory

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The crowds came over the weekend to visit Arlington National Cemetery, the resting place of the nation's heroes and the national refuge of broken hearts.

The long line of holiday visitors moved reverently down the lanes through rows of white marble headstones, with only the low chatter of conversation breaking the stillness on the hill where Robert E. Lee's mansion gave the graveyard its name.

Most of the markers are carved with only modest biography: names, dates, ranks and names of the states from whence men answered their country's call to arms. Memorial Day is still observed at Arlington as it was meant to be observed.

Like all our national summer holidays, the day is observed mostly with picnics, the occasional burst of fireworks creasing the night sky, raucous noise billed as music and the swilling of enormous quantities of brewed beverages. Memorial Day is different, if only by degree. But its origins are lost in argument, its original purpose shrouded in the fog of forgetfulness. Several cities in both North and South claim to be the holiday's birthplace, but the ceremonies and parades that once made it a holiday second only to the Fourth of July have been relegated to the dustbin of memory.

President Lyndon Johnson four decades ago declared Waterloo, N.Y., to be the official birthplace of Decoration Day (as it was first called) but the women of the South decorated the graves of their fallen sons even before the Civil War ended, commemorated in a hymn, "Kneel Where Our Loves Lie Sleeping," published in 1867. Memorial Day was first "officially" declared the following year by Gen. John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic - not an army at all, but a forerunner of the American Legion - who rode across the Potomac on May 30 of that year to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate dead. His decoration of Southern graves was not widely appreciated by the Radical Republicans who presided over the capital that time of bitter division.

The most persuasive claim for the origin of a decoration day is made by Columbus, Ga., where the widow of Col. C.J. Williams of the 1st Georgia Infantry tended his grave with their little daughter, after he died in the early days of the Civil War. She visited his grave every day, to sit in reflection of "the mystic chords of memory" while their little girl plucked weeds from unmarked graves nearby and covered them with flowers. She called them the graves of "my soldier boys." A short time later, as a contemporary account told it, "the dear little girl was summoned by the angels to join her father," and the widow, now childless, took up the little girl's practice of caring for soldiers' graves. In March 1868, about the time that Gen. Logan was first thinking of visiting Arlington with his flowers, the Widow Williams suggested setting apart one day every year as the occasion for "love to pay tribute to valor." She suggested April 26, and to this day in hundreds of graveyards across the South women pay separate tribute to Southern valor by placing tiny Confederate battle flags at the foot of the graves of their honored dead.

From the beginning the tribute to the memory of sacrifice was an attempt to bridge the partisan divide. Politicians in both North and South were eager to wave the bloody shirt come election time, and it was the women who were, as usual, the civilizing influence. But civilizing men, as most any woman is eager to tell you, is not always easy. The echoes of shot and shell that had summoned men to battle were barely beginning to fade when America stood at the cusp of war with Spain just as the century ended. Not everyone though it was a good idea to organize Southerners into an army so soon after Appomattox. Someone had the good idea of offering command to a former Confederate officer, and to Gen. Joe Wheeler, a hard-hitting cavalry commander from Alabama who briefly delayed Sherman's torching of Atlanta. He and his troops fought well in Cuba, though in the din of battle at Las Guasimas he forgot where he was and rallied his men with the cry: "Let's go, boys! We've got the damnyankees on the run again."

He died with his boots on in Brooklyn a decade later, pleased to parade in his uniform of Union blue, and he is one of the few senior Confederate officers allowed to sleep in a grave at Arlington. The flags of the two American nations whose uniforms he wore decorated his grave this year.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Wesley Pruden Archives

© 2007 Wesley Pruden

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles