Thursday, April 14, 2011

Now and forevermore

150 years ago, today, the flag pictured above was taken down from Fort Sumter.  146 years ago today, it flew again over that same fort.  On that second occasion, Henry Ward Beecher offered these words:
On this solemn and joyful day, we again lift to the breeze our fathers’ flag, now, again, the banner of the United States, with the fervent prayer that God would crown it with honor, protect it from treason, and send it down to our children.... Terrible in battle, may it be beneficent in peace [and] as long as the sun endures, or the stars, may it wave over a nation neither enslaved nor enslaving.... We lift up our banner, and dedicate it to peace, Union, and liberty, now and forevermore.
When we speak of our public schools as developing citizens, I see no choice but to be clear that we mean to nurture citizens devoted to the republic symbolized by that flag, rightly describes as one nation under God, as indivisible, and with liberty and justice for all.

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