We thank you kindly

Happy Memorial Day. Here’s one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1948)–the funeral of Brigadier General Brougham Clay, lately of the Confederate Army and now known as trooper John Smith.

Join me in a toast to all the Americans who have died for our country, and yes, even the Confederates who died, however misguidedly. Remember what Herman Melville wrote about Stonewall Jackson:

Dead is the Man whose Cause is dead,
Vainly he died and set his seal –
Earnest in error, as we feel;
True to the thing he deemed was due,
True as John Brown or steel.

And here’s a great prayer from A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors (1941):

Grant, O Lord, that I may not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and to continue Christ‘s faithful soldier and servant unto my life‘s end. Amen.

(Published for the Army and Navy Commission of  the Protestant Episcopal Church)