Open post

Never Forget: The Inscriptions of a Nation

[Note: I received this in an email from a friend and great American in Washington, DC today. As we head into the July 4 weekend during this difficult time for our country, it touched me, and I hope it touches you as well.]

INSCRIPTIONS OF A NATION

In 1994, my good friend Clint Ensign, Vice President of Sinclair Oil published a small book containing the inscriptions from the major memorials, historic buildings and structures in the nation’s capitol. He titled it: “Inscriptions of a Nation – Collected Quotations from Washington Monuments”.

It was the culmination of years of effort on his part as he compiled hundreds of quotations and inscriptions from the many memorials and monuments in Washington D.C. during his many trips to Washington on business.

Of the hundreds of buildings, memorials and statues, it is interesting to note that the Washington Monument has no inscriptions, nor does the White House. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial inscriptions are the names of the 58,000 individual men and women who gave their lives in service of their country.

It is easy to take for granted that these great buildings which are just part of my daily routine and landscape as I walk past them every day. Rarely do I stop to reflect on what they represent.

As I have reflected on the events of recent weeks, I took Clint’s book off the shelf last night and wanted to share a small but fitting sample of the inscriptions of our nation this July 4th.

CONSTITUTION HALL

“LET US RAISE A STANDARD TO WHICH THE WISE AND HONEST CAN REPAIR. THE EVENT IS IN THE HANDS OF GOD”
George Washington

“REMOVE NOT THE ANCIENT LANDMARK WHICH THY FATHERS HAVE SET”
Proverbs 22:28

Library of Congress

“THE GROUND OF LIBERTY IS TO BE GAINED BY INCHES. WE MUST BE CONTENTED TO SECURE WHAT WE CAN GET FROM TIME TO TIME AND ETERNALLY PRESS FORWARD FOR WHAT IS YET TO GET. IT TAKES TIME TO PERSUADE MEN TO DO EVEN WHAT IS FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.”
Thomas Jefferson

“THE HAPPY UNION OF THESE STATES IS A WONDER, THEIR CONSTITUTION A MIRACLE; THEIR EXAMPLE THE HOPE OF LIBERTY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.”
James Madison

Supreme Court

“A CONSTITUTION IS FRAMED FOR AGES TO COME, AND IT IS DESIGNED TO APPROACH IMMORTALITY AS NEARLY AS HUMAN INSTITUTIONS CAN APPROACH IT, ITS COURSE CANNOT ALWAYS BE TRANQUIL.”
Cohens v. Virginia, 1821

United States Capitol

“THE GREATEST DANGERS TO LIBERTY LURK IN INSIDIOUS ENCROACHMENT BY MEN OF ZEAL, WELL-MEANING BUT WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING.”
Louis D. Brandeis

“LET US DEVELOP THE RESOURCES OF OUR LAND, CALL FORTH ITS POWERS, BUILD UP ITS INSTITUTIONS, PROMOTE ALL ITS GREAT INTERESTS AND SEE WHETHER WE ALSO IN OUR DAY AND GENERATION MAY NOT PERFORM SOMETHING WORTHY TO BE REMEMBERED.
Daniel Webster

“HERE SIR, THE PEOPLE GOVERN.”
Alexander Hamilton

 

World War II Memorial

THE WAR’S END
TODAY THE GUNS ARE SILENT. A GREAT TRAGEDY HAS ENDED. A GREAT VICTORY HAS BEEN WON. THE SKIES NO LONGER RAIN DEATH – THE SEAS BEAR ONLY COMMERCE – MEN EVERYWHERE WALK UPRIGHT IN THE SUNLIGHT. THE ENTIRE WORLD IS QUIETLY AT PEACE.

General Douglas MacArthur

Lincoln Memorial

“WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE, WITH CHARITY FOR ALL, WITH FIRMNESS IN THE RIGHT AS GOD GIVES US TO SEE THE RIGHT, LET US STRIVE TO FINISH THE WORK WE ARE IN, TO BIND UP THE NATION’S WOUNDS, TO CARE FOR HIM WHO SHALL HAVE BORNE THE BATTLE AND FOR HIS WIDOW AND HIS ORPHAN, TO DO ALL WHICH MAY ACHIEVE AND CHERISH A JUST AND LASTING PEACE AMONG OURSELVES AND WITH ALL NATIONS”

Arlington Cemetery

“WE HERE HIGHLY RESOLVE THAT THESE DEAD SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN”
Abraham Lincoln

DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI
(IT IS SWEET AND FITTING TO DIE FOR ONE’S COUNTRY)
Arlington Memorial Amphitheater

HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD
Tomb of the Unknowns

And finally:

Jefferson Memorial

“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT. THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS, AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN. WE…SOLEMNLY PUBLISH AND DECLARE, THAT THESE COLONIES ARE AND OF RIGHT OUGHT TO BE FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES…. AND FOR THE SUPPORT OF THIS DECLARATION, WITH A FIRM RELIANCE ON THE PROTECTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, WE MUTUALLY PLEDGE OUR LIVES, OUR FORTUNES, AND OUR SACRED HONOUR.”

May you and your families have a safe Independence Day and may we remind our loved ones that it is a blessing and an honor to be a citizen of this great nation.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

America is Still Struggling With the Failure of Reconstruction

Given the events that have transpired since its airing a few weeks ago, I’m sure if the producers of the mini-series “Grant” had it to do all over again, they’d have made it 8 hours and 4 episodes in length instead of its 6 hours/3 episodes format. The first two episodes did a fine job of detailing Grant’s up-bringing and early years, his struggles through many failures in life, his rise through the ranks of Union generals, and the start of his successful prosecution of the final campaign of the War through Virginia.

But the final 2-hour episode attempted to cover far too much ground: The final, climactic months of the War; Lee’s surrender at Appomattox; the assassination of Lincoln; Grant’s commission to oversee the failed Reconstruction process; Grant’s two-term presidency and his final days finishing his memoirs while suffering with fatal cancer of the throat. It was far, far too much crucially important ground to try to cover in just two hours, especially with at least nine 5-minute-long commercial breaks sprinkled into the mix.

The last two weeks of demonstrations in the wake of the murder of George Floyd; the demonstrations, riots, looting and burning of a dozen major U.S. cities reminiscent of Sherman’s march through Atlanta to the sea; and the burgeoning national debate that is now taking place over policing and race relations cries out for detailed re-examination not of the Civil War or Grant’s presidency, but of that period of Reconstruction which, had it been properly executed by people of good intent, could have unified the nation and put in place conditions that might have avoided much of the racial strife that followed and continues to this day.

If you search your memories you will realize that no one – not even Ken Burns in his great “The Civil War” documentary – has produced a truly thorough recounting of that terrible time in our nation, and which lays true accountability for the horrors that took place. “Grant” gave it very short shrift, as the producers did everything they could to avoid laying any blame a the feet of the title subject and his often ham-handed management of the process.

The one of hundreds of atrocities the series does go into some detail about is the New Orleans Massacre of July 30, 1866, an event in which a band of former Confederate soldiers slaughtered dozens of freed slaves who were organizing themselves to participate in the upcoming elections. That all happened under the not-so-watchful eye of General William Sherman and a garrison of the Union Army before the Reconstruction Act of 1867 had been passed by congress. “Grant” also makes vague reference to dozens of similar incidents that took place all over the South in the subsequent years, but goes into little detail about them.

It also briefly mentions the rise of the Ku Klux Klan during that period of time, but goes into no detail about the fact that the Klan was actually created by the Democratic Party – which dominated the Southern states – after the 1866 elections, in which the Northern States overwhelmingly awarded control of congress to the Republican Party of Lincoln and Grant. Just as the Democrat Party created Antifa immediately following the 2016 elections, in which the northern states of PA, MI and WI turned Red and awarded the presidency and both houses of congress to the Republicans. There is a pattern to all of this.

Here we stumble right upon the very real reason why Hollywood has been so reluctant to fully explore the period of Reconstruction in documentary format: It is impossible to honestly do so without making the crystal clear, direct connection between the Klan and the Democrat Party. Indeed, it was the rise of the Klan as the military wing of the Democrat Party that rendered Grant’s assignment of executing on the Reconstruction laws an impossible mission. It was too deeply embedded in the Southern culture to be rooted out. The series makes passing mention of the fact that supposed pillars of these communities – doctors, lawyers, farmers and civic leaders – were all engaged with the Klan.

Sadly, that remained the reality in many cities and towns all over the South for well over a century. Indeed, as recently as just 2010 – a bare decade ago – a former member of the Klan – Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia – held a prominent position of leadership in the United States Senate. Other former Klan members with names like Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, William Fulbright, and Ernest Hollings held seats in the Senate in modern times, long after the passage of the Civil Rights bills in the mid-1960s.

Even sadder, the existence today of Antifa as the military wing of the Democrat Party will just as readily ensure that no real reconciliation will come from the debate currently raging in Washington and across our national news media. The simple reality is that those on the radical left who have basically seized control of that Party actively oppose reconciliation and seek violent revolution instead.

Congress may pass a few bills and pat itself on the back for doing it, but the real battles are taking place right now in the radical city council of Minneapolis, which is about to disband its police department, and on Capitol Hill in Seattle, where Antifa has forcibly seized control of an 8 square block area, with armed guards preventing the police from entering the area.

Just as we will never receive an honest accounting of the role of the Ku Klux Klan’s destruction of Reconstruction, we will not receive an honest accounting of Antifa from our national news media, which is working to destroy our nation from within today. Because an honest accounting of either requires the examination of the fact that both destructive groups were the creation of the national Democrat Party, and no one in Hollywood or the Democrat-controlled news media can afford to go there.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Scroll to top