Daily Archives: May 28, 2012


I walk down the garden-paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jeweled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden-paths.
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.
And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover.
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon–
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se’nnight.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

–Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer on June 6, 1944

“My Fellow Americans:

“Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

“And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

“They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
“They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.&

“Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

“And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

“Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

“And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

“Thy will be done, Almighty God.


You can listen to the actual audio if you want here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History

We Here Highly Resolve

“”¦that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ”” that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”¦”

–Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry

(Local Paper) Article on a 13 year old musician offering distinguished Memorial Day service

While most teenagers get ready to head to the beach or enjoy some other form of relaxation to celebrate Memorial Day, 13-year-old Colt Drew of Goose Creek has a heavier weight on his shoulders today.

He will put on his honor guard uniform, head to the James Island American Legion and play Taps at a Memorial Day service.

“He does an excellent job,” said David Coates Jr., a member of the honor guard based at the Goose Creek American Legion.

Coates recruited Colt because there’s a shortage of Taps players for military funerals and services, especially in the Lowcountry, with its heavy military population. Colt, who is home-schooled, is an accomplished trumpet player, and both his parents, Debbie and Mike Drew, were in the Navy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Defense, National Security, Military, Music, Teens / Youth

Facts About the National Cemetery Administration

”¢ NCA currently maintains approximately 3.1 million gravesites at 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, as well as in 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites.

Ӣ Approximately 380,000 full-casket gravesites, 112,000 in-ground gravesites for cremated remains, and 130,000 columbarium niches are available in already developed acreage in our 131 national cemeteries.

”¢ There are approximately 20,000 acres within established installations in NCA. Nearly 60 percent are undeveloped and ”“ along with available gravesites in developed acreage ”“ have the potential to provide approximately 5.6 million gravesites.

Ӣ Of the 131 national cemeteries, 72 are open to all interments; 18 can accommodate cremated remains and the remains of family members for interment in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member; and 41 will perform only interments of family members in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Parish Ministry, The U.S. Government

(LA Times) For Marine's widow, Memorial Day 2012 has extra meaning

Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Fankhauser had been in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province for barely two weeks when he stepped on what the military calls an improvised explosive device. He was on his fifth combat deployment.

There had been a rainstorm, the ground had shifted and was soft, and the usual signs of a hidden bomb were not there. It was a joint patrol: Marines, British forces and Afghans. Only Fankhauser, 30, was killed.

“It gives me a kind of peace that it wasn’t a mistake” but rather an accident, Heather Fankhauser, 35, said of her husband’s death. “It wasn’t anything he could have done. Lots of other guys, guys with families, were there that day, and they’ll be going home, and that’s how my husband would want it.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

The History of Memorial Day

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry

(Reuters) In Pictures–Americans honor troops for Memorial Day

Check them out (17 in all).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

”“Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve”“KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men — Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: “I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days… Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done.” The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: “The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.” Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature

A Prayer for Memorial Day

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give thee thanks for all thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence; and give us such a lively sense of thy righteous will, that the work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 25:4-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Sunday Telegraph) Archbishop selection panel 'dominated by' Reappraisers

The panel chosen to appoint the next Archbishop of Canterbury is facing claims that it is dominated by clerics who reject orthodox teaching.

The committee is unfairly balanced in favour of liberals who support “revisionist” moves such as the appointment of [non-celibate] homosexual bishops, traditionalists have warned.

Their intervention came as the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) met behind closed doors last week for the first in a series of meetings to decide the successor to Dr Rowan Williams.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–For Heinous Crimes Should Juveniles be Given Life without Parole?

….The Supreme Court is now expected to use the Miller case to determine whether states are required to consider giving juveniles a second chance, no matter what they did. And each side is giving up a little in this case. Alabama is not arguing that all juvenile murderers should be ineligible for parole, only those who commit the worst crimes””crimes that would bring a death sentence if the defendant were an adult.

Evan Miller is represented by the Equal Justice Initiative and its founder and executive director, Bryan Stevenson, and Stevenson isn’t asking anyone actually be given parole, only that when offenders are so young that at some point far down the road, they at least be allowed to demonstrate they are entitled to be set free.

BRYAN STEVENSON (Equal Justice Initiative): I think everyone is more than the worst thing they’ve ever done, and I think that policy makers can make decisions about how to punish them. But I think children are uniquely more than their worst act; they have quintessential qualities and characteristics that a decent society, a maturing society, an evolved society, we believe, is constitutionally obligated to recognize and protect.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

(AP) Syria defiantly denies killings, UN council meets

Syria on Sunday strongly denied U.N. allegations that its forces killed more than 90 people in one of the deadliest events of the country’s uprising, and diplomats said the Security Council met in an emergency session to discuss the massacre.

The killings in the west-central area of Houla on Friday brought widespread international criticism of the regime of President Bashar Assad, although differences emerged from world powers over whether his forces were exclusively to blame.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Violence

The Economist on the Eurozone Crisis–limited federalism is a less miserable solution than break-up

What will become of the European Union? One road leads to the full break-up of the euro, with all its economic and political repercussions. The other involves an unprecedented transfer of wealth across Europe’s borders and, in return, a corresponding surrender of sovereignty. Separate or superstate: those seem to be the alternatives now.

For two crisis-plagued years Europe’s leaders have run away from this choice. They say that they want to keep the euro intact””except, perhaps, for Greece. But northern European creditors, led by Germany, will not pay out enough to assure the euro’s survival, and southern European debtors increasingly resent foreigners telling them how to run their lives.

This has become a test of over 60 years of European integration….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, France, Germany, Greece, History, Italy, Politics in General, Portugal, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--