As this Veterans Day approaches I would like to take the time to look back at our history as a country and one of, if not the most, famous battles of our history. The Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.
While trying to determine how to tie Veterans to Masonry I recalled learning about Free Masons helping one another on the battlefield on either side of enemy lines. While I had never researched the topic myself I decided to investigate the validity of what I recall…and boy was I surprised. I found this great article on Masons helping Masons even though they were fighting against one another in a divided nation.
Our Fraternity has three principle tenets; Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. These tenets go above and be-
yond what one may face on the battlefield. During the Battle of Gettysburg there are many stories that have been recorded about one Mason helping another; whether they be friend or foe.
Masons recognizing signs of distress or regalia worn often ensured their foe would be treated with the utmost respect and care. When arms were laid down they were not enemies but Brothers. Brothers who had sworn an obligation to help, aid, and assist all poor and distressed Masons. More often than not they ensured their loved received their fallen’s belongings, were properly honored if killed in action, or if possible received the best care and treatment.
While those tenets still ring true today many of us may have forgotten that no matter what side of the line we may be on a Free Mason will always be a Brother.
During this Veteran’s Day, I ask you to reach out to a Veteran, Mason or not, and thank them for their sacrifice as they too, like us, live above the fray of today’s society. And if you so desire read “Masons at the Battle of Gettysburg” by Brother Sheldon Munn.
Jonathan Murray Worshipful Master, 2017