CIVIL WAR MEMORY
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January 20, 2009 By Kevin Levin 10 Comments
Tim Abbott says
January 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Kevin, I wonder whether you were able to see the patterns on the flags displayed as a backdrop to the inaugeration. I believe I saw, flanked on the outside by the “Betsy Ross” Pattern flag, the 34 star version from the Civil War Era with the stars arranged 7 /7/6/7/7. I am now looking for images that will show if this proves true, and if it does, what what you think that says about this president and the subtle power of memory?
January 20, 2009 at 12:32 pm
Ah, too good to be true: http://www.sacbee.com/photos/gallery/1539024.html
21 stars? For Illinois!
Kevin Levin says
January 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Thanks for the link. Apparently, you are quite perceptive. 🙂
January 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm
Aretha Franklin singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”; Itzhak Perlman playing the violin; and Barack Obama being sworn in as President of the United States all in one day. I don’t know how much more of this good news I can take, and it is only the beginning. What a day!
Have a good one, Kevin.
January 20, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Aretha can still belt it out, but I was particularly moved by the Williams piece.
January 20, 2009 at 2:29 pm
Yes, I agree. The Williams piece was a beautiful piece of music and the Inauguration was a beautiful piece of history. It is still very difficult to believe that this has really happened. One of my mother’s friends who was in the room with my sisters and me when my mother died is at the Inauguration. Her name is Betty Mae. She is black and she is a great lady. I am so happy that she is here to witness this. Just wish my mother had made it, too. Maybe she is up there somewhere with Dr. King smiling down on us all. I hope so. Good to talk to you, Kevin. This is the dawning of a new era, as some in the media have said. President Obama is a brilliant leader, and he is a healer, too. Our nation needs healing, and Barack Obama is the one to bring about that healing, so let’s dust ourselves off and pick ourselves up, as our new President suggested, what do you say everyone?
January 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm
I am grateful that I don’t any longer have to recall from memory my appreciation for this country and its potential, but that I can actually live it again. Thank you Mr. President!
PS: It was a Williams piece, but with a whole lot of Copland the way he arranged the Shaker hymn…hmmm, he barely made it out of the copyright law offense… still nice piece. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/classicalmusic/2009/01/inaugural_premiere_resonates_w.html
January 21, 2009 at 3:25 am
“Although Williams chose to use the Copland material because President Obama counts that composer among his classical favorites, there’s another significant point here. In 1953, a pre-inaugural concert by the National Symphony Orchestra at Constitution Hall, a concert attended by then president-elect Eisenhower, was to have included a performance of one of Copland’s most popular works, A Lincoln Portrait. But a Republican congressman (from Illinois, by the way) objected, suggesting that Copland was too liberal and maybe even Communist-friendly, so the piece was pulled from the concert. Inserting the touch of Copland into the Obama inauguration, Williams told Variety last week, offers ‘a completed circle of events that is nice to think about.'”
Thanks for this link, Micheala! This information really does offer a completed circle of events that is nice to think about. This must have been one of those times when “Communist friendly” was code for being Jewish, no doubt. Another brilliant statement by President Obama. It is a perfect statement for me, too, on a personal level, since my husband of nineteen years is from New York, like Copland, and he is also Jewish, like Copland, and I am from Appalachia.
Next, I hope our new President brings into focus, on a national and international level, the plight and suffering of Indigenous men and women in the United States and Canada. I don’t think that many people realize the depth of that suffering, nor are many aware of the relatively recent history of the government boarding schools in both countries that Indigenous children were forced to attend. In those schools not only were the children taken from their parents and forced to give up their homes, their culture and their language; many were abused, and some were murdered. These children were the descendants of the men and women who lived in Grandmother Turtle Island, as many Indigenous Nations refer to the land that was theirs before the first European arrived in North America, for thousands of years before the Europeans came, and they still live here. Now is the time for those old injustices to be addressed, if ever there was a time! Thanks again, Michaela. Here are two links to information concerning the boarding schools in Canada and the US: http://www.nativetube.com/video/454/US-Guilty-of-Genocide ; http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-6637396204037343133
TF Smith says
January 21, 2009 at 8:46 am
Mark Grimsley has a really interesting post at Cliopatria on studying Reconstruction/Redemption and the Civil Rights Movement of the postwar era in terms of a politico-military conflict, based on the course he’s teaching at the AWC. Seems to track with your concepts.
Jim Lynch says
January 24, 2009 at 8:13 pm
“The man and the hour have met”.
Even Jeff Davis may have appreciated the irony.
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