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Blessed Memorial Day

Uwe E. Reinhardt is a celebrity prof (economics and public affairs) at Princeton. I’ve never met him but have read some of his stuff, on account of my passing interest in health care economics. I can’t judge it but it’s consistently informative, and leavened with a healthy sense that “we economists really do not know how the world works.” (They should nail that sentence over every door jamb at the Federal Reserve.)

Professor Reinhardt’s most recent publication, which I suppose is rattling around on a thousand sites but deserves an additional shout-out here, is about the dead—specifically, “The American Dead in Foreign Fields.” If you visit the cemeteries for American soldiers in Europe or Asia, he writes,

you will come away with renewed and strengthened respect for those of your fellow Americans willing to wear the nation’s military uniform and to bear the ultimate sacrifice one can make for one’s country. If you are a student, you will look with fresh eyes at the few among your classmates in the ROTC, learning, along with their regular studies, how to become officers in America’s armed forces.

And you will reflect deeply on our nation’s role in the world. Whatever our flaws as a people have been in the past and still are today, you will realize, standing there among the thousands of gravestones, that in the sweep of history, ours is a grand nation of which you can and should be proud.

You have to read the entire piece. It’s amazing, in a good way, that a Princeton prof is still allowed and willing to say this.

Professor Reinhardt grew up some two decades ahead of me in Osnabrueck, about two hours from my home town (Hamburg). From one ex-pat to another, then: Danke. Gut gemacht.

Reader Discussion

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on May 30, 2016 at 11:28:20 am

Stones in the Sea

There are no stones in the seas

No markers in the skies

For those physical residues

Consumed in liquid depths

Evaporated as gaseous expansions

There are only stones and markers

In souls now aging and dying

And in those of many themselves now gone

Stones on Earth

Are counterparts of the stones and markers

In the souls of others

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R Richard Schweitzer
on May 30, 2016 at 11:53:02 am

Richard:

Quite moving!

It is good to remember and to do so with a fondness and admiration for those who in life demonstrated the strength found now only in those stones marking their passage.

Thanks for YOUR service.

take care
gabe

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gabe
on May 30, 2016 at 19:48:59 pm

Outstanding post.

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David Frisk

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