Better Than Eulogy
David Hein on VIP Funerals & George C. Marshall's Humble Witness
Elaborate VIP funerals are often in the news. Certainly they serve important purposes, as well as expressing the intentions of the deceased, who may have wished to convey a final message through his or her memorial service. No one should disparage these rituals. They provide occasions for remembrance, for the channeling of grief, and for collecting the essential elements of a notable person's manifold contributions. Anything less would seem careless and disrespectful, ungrateful and incomplete.
Or would it?
Consider the life and death of George C. Marshall, whose many years of service to his country included the posts of chief of staff of the U.S. Army . . .
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David Hein is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Hood College, in Frederick, Maryland. His many books include C. S. Lewis and Friends: Faith and the Power of Imagination (co-edited with Edward Henderson; SPCK and Cascade) and Archbishop Fisher, 1945-1961: Church, State and World (co-authored with Andrew Chandler; Ashgate). His most recent World War II-related essay is "Vulnerable: HMS Prince of Wales in 1941," in the Journal of Military History (2013).
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