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Regarding the Passing of Mr Bush PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 06 December 2018 12:54

Periodically over the past two days, I have watched news coverage of the various funeral services and ceremonies for President George H.W. Bush. This has been very intriguing for a number of reasons. For one, it is rare to witness such respect given to a departed individual. The processions each time the casket was moved were reminiscent of something you would see in a movie. This was a special moment, rare for any and every one of us. It was such a display of dignity and respect; combining civilians, clergy, military, musicians, and elected leaders all in one place for one purpose.


As I watched, three things common to American life were present at nearly every moment. You saw them, but you may not have noticed them.



First of all, faith. When is the last time so much scripture was read on national news networks around the country? Can you recall a time more prayers were televised in Jesus' name? Or when the Apostles Creed, an ancient Trinitarian creed which affirms the Divinity of Christ, was broadcast for all the world to see? From the clergy, to friends and family, the funerals exemplified the deep role faith has played in traditional American life. Even the Bush granddaughters took turns reading the 23rd Psalm from the King James Bible.


Secondly, music. Perhaps overlooked as an incidental part of proceedings, in nearly every scene, were musicians honoring President Bush with their skill, their craft. Did you notice it? Of course, who wouldn't be moved by the choir singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, performed in St Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston Texas? But did you notice each time the President's body is moved, a small military band performed patriotic music or national hymns the entire time the casket was in motion, carried by soldiers in full dress?


Lastly, I hope you noted the civility. Republicans and Democrats came together, shook each others hands, and acted like respectful human beings. Why should this be a rare sight? I mean no disrespect to our leaders, but they should be ashamed of themselves for behaving in such a way as to make civility a rarity. There are times we've all contributed to the rude hostilities ever present in our country. Disagreeing on principle is one thing. Behaving one's self in a rude, crass way is another. A nation deserves better from those whom we call our leaders. More than anyone else, those who lead us should set a clear path of maturity, graciousness, and honor. Sadly, that's largely absent from the American political arena.


I hope you were able to pause your busy lives to quietly observe such a momentous occasion.


A condensed version of this entry was published in The Huntsville Times on December 9, 2018

Last Updated on Friday, 28 December 2018 10:44


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