Nothing can possibly accompany a silent captioned picture of Arlington, so I publish this separately and for your reflection at your leisure and as with all things only if you wish.
But for those of an historic bent, the tradition of annually setting aside a day to honor those fallen in war goes back at least to the Greeks. Thucydides recorded in his History of the Peloponnesian War that Pericles was chosen to give the annual funeral oration after the first year of that War. Here’s an excerpt.
“The Eternal Remembrance of the Brave”
From Pericles’ Funeral Oration
Most of those who have spoken here before me have commended the lawgiver who added this oration to our other funeral customs. It seemed to them a worthy thing that such an honor should be given at their burial to the dead who have fallen on the field of battle. But I should have preferred that, when men’s deeds have been brave, they should be honored in deed only, and with such an honor as this public funeral, which you are now witnessing. Then the reputation of many would not have been imperiled on the eloquence or want of eloquence of one, and their virtues believed or not as he spoke well or ill…
The sacrifice which they collectively made was individually repaid to them; for they received again each one for himself a praise which grows not old, and the noblest of all tombs; I speak not of that in which their remains are laid, but of that in which their glory survives, and is proclaimed always and on every fitting occasion both in word and deed. For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men. Make them your examples, and, esteeming courage to be freedom and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war.
I trust the readers of Adam Smith, Esq. are perspicacious enough to understand how these words and thoughts relate to Law Land. Think:
- Living for timeless principles not short-term self-interest, comfort, or gain
- Being a peerless steward of what is entrusted to you
- And recognizing your legacy isn’t measured in what material evidence survives you.