Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A lover of peace

On this Veteran's Day, the Boston Unitarian remembers and thanks all who have served (are are presently serving) and sacrificed so much, including the 19th Century Unitarian soldiers and chaplains who served in the Civil War.
Many could be named including Thomas Wentworth Higginson who was a Unitarian minister and the Colonel of the first African American Regiment in the Civil War. Higginson went on to a varied and fascinating career in literature and reform. He is often remembered (and not very fondly) for his relationship with Emily Dickinson (see the fascinating new book White Heat for a more judicious view of Higginson.)
Pictured above is Arthur Buckminster Fuller, brother of Margaret Fuller, passionate Unitarian Minister and Civil War Chaplain who gave his life for the cause. James Freeman Clarke (who has been mentioned in these pages before) said of him, "Arthur Fuller was, like most of us, a lover of peace, but he saw, as we have had to see, that sometimes true peace can only come through war. So he went, with a courage and devotion which all must admire, and fell, adding his blood also to all the precious blood which has been shed as an atonement for the sins of the nation. May that blood not be shed in vain." For a fine brief biography of Fuller (including this quote) see the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography at: http://www25-temp.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/arthurbuckminsterfuller.html

No matter your view of war as atonement or necessity, Fuller, Higginson, and so many before and since have seen their duty and done it selflessly. Again, thank you Veterans, and may your service and sacrifice point to a world in which such sacrifice is no longer required. Blessings

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