|Facing Independence Hall is George Washington, standing in one of only five public squares planned|
in William Penn’s 1682 survey of Philadelphia.
|“Freedom is a Light for which many men have died in darkness” is the main inscription|
on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington Square Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Few, if any, of us give it any thought, but Masons from other nations notice it. British brethren, if asked, happily would point out that their lodges are closed before, for instance, the queen is toasted at the festive board.
I’ll always remember one conversation over drinks very late one night during a recent Masonic Week, when this very subject was brought up. Was it not chauvinist or even jingoist to incorporate such flag waving into a Masonic ritual? It was Bro. Piers to the rescue, explaining that it is in fact the personal liberty represented by the flag that allows Masons to meet in their lodges, ergo a logical fit. (I paraphrase.)
“If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.”
General Order No. 11, which established Decoration Day
Gen. John Logan
May 5, 1868
As we say in one of the Rose Croix rituals:
“So may the Light that never fails, the Love that never forgets, and the Life that never ends, illumine our world.”