Monday, May 25, 2009

Fallen Heroes

My preview post on the upcoming Milwaukee series can be found at CardsClubhouse.

However, instead of describing today's game, and the current hot streak of starting pitching the Cardinals are enjoying, I offer to you this letter from President Abraham Lincoln.

The background on the letter is this. President Lincoln wrote this to Ms. Fanny McCollough, on the occasion of the death of his long time friend and her father, William McCollough. During Lincoln's law circuit days, McCollough was sheriff and clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court in Bloomington, Illinois. Early in the Civil war he helped organize the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which he served as Lieutenant Colonel. On 5 Dec 1862 he was killed in a night charge near Coffeeville, Mississippi.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, December 23, 1862.

Dear Fanny

It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.

Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother.

Your sincere friend
A. Lincoln

People don't talk that way anymore.

On this Memorial Day, think kindly of those men who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. And remember the families they left behind.

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