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(Crawfordsville Journal Review) There are several stories about the origin of the three-shot volley fired at military funerals…
The story I like goes back to the dynastic wars in Europe. The custom was for both sides to halt fighting periodically so the dead could be removed. Once the task was completed, three musket shots were fired as a signal that the battle could resume…
It might seem contradictory, holding on to rules of civilized behavior in the midst of the savage, depraved enterprise that is war. But it is the only way to affirm our basic humanity. We acknowledge that we cannot avoid sometimes reverting to barbarousness, but we will cling to our aspirations of decency.
That is why combatants are not supposed to harm soldiers who have surrendered. It is why there are international rules for the treatment of prisoners of war. It is why we honor all soldiers once they are in the grave, whatever and whomever they fought for — at least 108 million of them in the 20th century alone, some estimates say as many as 1 billion in the history of the world.
As another Memorial Day approaches, there is a supreme irony. An independent commission is recommending dismantling the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
It’s one more piece of the modern attempt to erase every shred of the Confederacy from the national memory. Statues are being toppled. Schools, national parks and military bases are being renamed. The sons and daughters of the South must forever pay for the sins of their fathers in supporting the losing side. The victors are not only writing the history books but rewriting them with vengeful glee.
It’s what some have called “presentism,” judging the past by…Now it’s un-Memorial Day | Journal Review