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Aaron, Lester | to Mother, 1920 November 11

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Details
Identifier
vassar:46363,vcl_Letters_Aaron_Lester_1920-1923_004
Date
1920-11-11
Type
Extent
1 item
Rights
For more information about rights and reproduction, visit http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/policies-and-procedures%20/permissionto.html

 


: vcl_Letters_Aaron_Lester_1920-1923_004_001
14 Story Street,
Cambridge,
Massachusetts.
November 11, 1920

Dear Mother:

What a contrast this cold day today is to that wonderful and never-to-be-forgotten day two years when the whole world [seemed] to ring of gladness that freedom had come at last. How quickly people forget -

 


: vcl_Letters_Aaron_Lester_1920-1923_004_002
how quickly they seem to have forgotten the [hopes] and the ideals for which the war was fought - for which so many gave their lives.

There is something awfully sad about it. A few flags out - some extra [performances] in the theatre - otherwise this day might have been any other.

I have a lot of work to do - I am looking forward to "jetting back".

Love

Lester.

 


: vcl_Letters_Aaron_Lester_1920-1923_004_003
To The Unknown Dead

In Westminster Abbey, London, and in the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, a finely reasoned thought is to be consecrated tomorrow morning at 11 A. M. Celebrating the anniversary of signing the armistice the Germans asked for at Rethondes, the English and the French will do honor to the Unknown Dead. In each case a soldier, unidentified as to name and regiment, will be given a final grave, one in the exquisite nave of the English national shrine where kings and queens, statesmen and poets, heroes, men of letters and martyrs lie in silence, sleep and fame: the other in the vault of the Arc de Triomphe, that visible symbol for all time of the military glories of France. In both countries the endeavor is to immortalize "the unknown dead"-that most moving of in scriptions in any war cemetery of the world. It is a sure instinct which has led to these commemorations for the unknown dead; for next to our own, who may lie in graves marked or unmarked, the dust of those who died as heroes and left no sign of their identity appeal to our sentiment.

The two overseas ceremonies will be conducted with the same thought. In Paris, an unknown poilu from the Verdun battle zone will be carried on a gun carriage, the flag of France over him, three marshals of France, Joffre, Foch and Petain following afoot, to solemn music and between reversed arms of troops. The body of the unknown British Tommy will arrive in England on a British warship. The same earth of France in which he lay and on which he died will be brought to line his grave in consecrated English ground-that little spot which "is forever England." His body will be carried on a gun carriage, as was that of King Edward VII, and beside it will walk the pall bearers, senior officers of the three fighting services, admirals of the fleet, field marshals and generals of the army and the air marshal. Massed bands will add their stirring voices. The King, as chief mourner, will follow on foot, representing the nation. As the body is lowered into the grave, a field marshal's salute will be fired and a guard of honor mounted. Beside this grave all Britain in spirit will stand, glorying in the hero and vowing anew that what he died for must remain. And it will be the same at the Arc de Triomphe.

Though the unknown dead are not to be honored here in any national ceremony, there will be a responsive echo in the hearts of those Americans whose son, brother, husband, made sacrifice for his flag, holding our honor high with wounded hands, carrying our honor safe with bleeding feet. Perhaps the remembrance, though unspoken, may reach them where they sleep, those lads of imperishable memory, who not counting the cost, faced death and would not yield-splendid soldiers passing out of the sight of men by the path of duty and sacrifice.

 


: vcl_Letters_Aaron_Lester_1920-1923_004_004
Mrs. Marcus Aaron.
402 Winebiddle Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

East End.