Monday, July 1, 2013

Celebrating Independence

Today's post comes from "Dad" Peter Brusoe of Nation's Capital DeMolay. Enjoy!

“The government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

As DeMolays, we hear these words every time the Installing Officer presents the school books at the altar during an installation.  As a history buff, I sort of assumed that everyone knew where these words came from.  And then I was at the Lincoln Memorial with a couple of DeMolays and they were reading the Gettysburg Address and said “Oh wow, that’s like what’s in the installation ritual.”  This phraseology is pretty famous, and captures the essence of what a Democratic Republic is and should be. This phrase is so enduring that the Republic of France uses the same phrase in their constitution.

When the installation ritual was being written the memorization of the Gettysburg Address was a standard part of a public school education.  In the time since the ritual was written memorizing The Gettysburg Address has been removed in favor of other pedagogical goals.  I attended the 150th anniversary, or the 7 score and 10 year ago anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and I was reminded of another part of our DeMolay ritual – the 7th preceptor.
The 7th Preceptor talks about young men dying for their nation and helping to secure the rights and civil liberties we enjoy.  There is not an induction ceremony that goes by that I do not tear up a bit after the presentation of that virtue.  In hearing historians, Park Rangers, civil war re-enactors and reading museum exhibitors discuss the battle at Gettysburg, and other civil war battles, you hear the age of the soldiers involved and you think that those are young men that if they were living today would be DeMolays.  The graves over in Gettysburg are filled with men we would be able to call our brothers.

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the battle, if you have not had a chance to, sit down and do some reading about Gettysburg.  Or if you feel like you know enough about the civil war, learn about another battle in our nation’s history, from the Battle of Bunker Hill in our revolutionary war, to the battle of Fallujah in the Iraqi war.  Young men, of DeMolay age, acted bravely because their national called them to duty.

This Thursday we celebrate our American Independence. As we enjoy our hot dog and a parade, lets make sure we remember and honor those who have secured those blessings which we now enjoy.

Some recommended books:

The Killer Angels

Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

General Lee’s Army Victory Collapse

Team of Rivals

Blue Eyed Child of Fortune

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