Wednesday, April 13, 2011

* In Mourning Again

Letter to the Editor
The Yale Daily News

Dear Editor:
It is not possible to offer to Yale words of comfort or wisdom at this moment in her long history. 

Three students have died horrible deaths over the last two years: a promising graduate student murdered on campus the weekend before her wedding; a young undergraduate leaping to his death off the Empire State Building; and now a  young woman, weeks before her graduation, killed in a tragic accident in the Chemistry Lab. And a fourth student of great athletic promise and tremendous popularity has had her life cut short by Nature's blind indifference.

Yale, perhaps more than any other college in the country, is the preeminent symbol of promise and prestige which America has produced in its centuries' old evolution from Colony to Beacon of Egalitarianism in the world: Her classrooms have molded four future presidents of the United States.

Every mother and father  sending a student to New Haven must sense the promise of this legacy and tingle with hope and excitement at the future which is unfolding for the fruit of their parenting.

Death is so antithetical to youth itself and  to all that Yale represents: 
There seems no lesson to be drawn from the accumulation of such sorrow in so short a time in the midst of fields where the glories of fulfillment and development are nurtured with such care and devotion. 


Paul D. Keane
M. Div. '80

April 13, 2011

The juxtaposition of these two items  reinforces the futility of offering comfort or wisdom in some situations.
It also shows the dramatic movement into secularism of the last 150 years.
Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
Dear Madam,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln

1 comment:

PAUL D. KEANE said...

I received a comment from "Kevin". If he wishes to re-submit it again with a full name and location I will publish it. Otherwise, I do not accept nasty comments from anonymous sources.

His objection was to the juxtaposition of the two letters.He felt it a presumptuous one, I gather, from his vitriol.

I believe it is a valid one. It shows the futility of offering comfort or wisdom in some situations.

It also shows the dramatic movement into secularism of the last 150 years.

Good luck with your anger, Kevin.

It can be refined to a useful purpose. Spewing like the blow-hole of a whale may be cathartic, but it goes no where.