December 19, 2005

Yes, Virginia, There Is Freedom In The Middle East

francis pharcellus church.jpg The gentleman to the right is unfortunately deceased. He was born in 1839 and died in 1906 living to the ripe old age of 67; young by today's standards, but pretty old given the times. His name is Francis Pharcellus Church. A name that does not easily roll off the tongue, but one must assume that his parents loved him and though they stuck him with the approbation "Pharcellus." Perhaps they were thinking of Pharsalus, An ancient city of Thessaly in northeast Greece where Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey nearby in 48 B.C.

But I digress, Mr. Church was a newsman, an editor and a publisher. He was a lead editorial writer on his brother's newspaper, the New York Sun, and it was in that capacity that in 1897 he wrote his most famous editorial, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

It is in this context that I reprint part of that editorial:

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished."

With abject apologies to Mr. Church, and to Virginia O'Hanlon, a little 8 year old girl who lived on West Ninety-Fith Street in New York, I pen the following:

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, belief and a steadfast love for freedom can discern the need for freedom; in the Middle East and beyond. Is it real? Ah, Virginia (and the Democratic Party) there is nothing else as real and abiding. No Freedom? Thank God there is Freedom, it lives and will live forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now freedom will continue to make glad the hearts of mankind.
Freedom is worthwhile, what ever the cost. Vain and vainglorious men will challenge that statement forever, for they cannot abide the lack of power, of power ripped from their hands by people with stout hearts and with a goal of giving to others what they have been given. Today, there are vainglorious men and women in our own land, men and women who care little for the concept, though they say they do. Men and women who call for the return of the men and women in uniform, those with stout hearts who suffer and die and are greviously wounded in the cause. Yet, Virginia, freedom will out! It always does and you can rest assured that in the twilight of history, in the years to come, the world will celebrate those men and women. They will be lauded, and the naysayers will not be remembered at all, save in the small minds of those who place politics over a polity based on freedom.

Posted by GM Roper at December 19, 2005 05:56 AM | TrackBack

Hey GM, I confess I haven't been by your site in awhile. So glad I dropped by today. Wonderful post and no apologies to said Virginia and Mr. Church necessary.

Posted by The Maryhunter at December 19, 2005 12:20 PM

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