More on the GAR Building in Detroit and the Civil War heroes.

Cornerstone GAR Building Detroit

Cornerstone GAR Building Detroit

 

The tower of the GAR Building detroit

The tower of the GAR Building detroit

GAR Building Detroit

GAR Building Detroit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This once grand structure was the meeting place for a very select group of men. Those individuals were proud of their service. They met on a regular basis to commemorate their fallen brothers and to remember what great deeds had been accomplished. They were a brotherhood forged in the service of the military during the nation’s greatest crisis. They served under President Abraham Lincoln. He had stated that the war itself was a test to determine if the democracy that had been established was going to last. The whole world watched to see what the outcome would be. In the end, the North won, but the nation was reborn into something new. Slavery was over. Then the United States became a country more close to being what the Declaration had set forth.

Yes, those Union veterans were heroes. Bruce Catton wrote about the Civil War veterans in his town (while growing up) in his book: ‘Waiting for the Morning Train.” Here’s an excerpt:

“They gave an especial flavor to the life of the village. Years ago they had marched thousands of miles to legendary battlefields, and although they had lived half a century since then in our quiet backwater all anyone ever thought of was that they had once gone to the ends of the earth and seen beyond the farthest horizon. There was something faintly pathetic about these lonely old men who lived so completely in the past that they had come to see the war of their youth as a kind of lost golden age, but as small boys we never saw the pathos. We looked at these men in blue, existing in pensioned security, honored and respected by all, moving past the mounded graves with their little flags and their heaps of lilacs, and we were in awe of them. Those terrible names out of history books-Gettysburg, Shiloh, Stone’s River, Cold Harbor-came alive through these men. They had been there…and now they stood by the G.A.R. monument in the cemetery and listened to the orations and the prayers and the patriotic songs, and to watch them was to be deeply moved.”

Bruce Catton’s generation met and talked to the veterans themselves. That generation was not so far removed from the war itself. History was alive for them. The veterans are all passed away now (the last Union soldier died in 1956). Those living today don’t have the closeness (as far as years removed from the war) that Catton and his generation had. The deeds are largely forgotten. The Civil War is not even taught in many schools. The GAR Building in Detroit means nothing to the casual passerby. The sacrifices that those dear veterans in blue made, like the building they met in, were for a different time and age in the minds of those in 2010.  “The glory has departed.”

 

 

 Mail this post

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “More on the GAR Building in Detroit and the Civil War heroes.”

  1. Nate says:

    Great thoughts.

Leave a Reply