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Your Views: Article on Holmes’ Memorial Day speech was slanted against war

POSTED: June 7, 2012 12:30 a.m.

The May 27 article on the Memorial Day speech by Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1895 was badly slanted. The writer lifted quotes to make Holmes’ message completely different than he intended.

An example: He quoted the speech as saying “War, when you are at it, is horrible and dull.” But he left out the next sentence “It is only when time has passed that you see that its message was divine.”

There were many more such out of context misrepresentations of meaning. Holmes’ service in the Civil War saw some horrible battles. But he respected the need for war as the supreme calling to protect our heritage.

A quote the writer should have included is “Who is there who would not like to be thought a gentleman? Yet what has that name been built on but the soldier’s choice of honor rather than life?” I suppose it is not surprising that the article you ran was written by a college professor.

Dave Long


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