Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery
Sculpted by Moses J. Ezekiel
Confederate Memorial, Arlington Cemetery

Dedicated 1914; Sculpture by Sir Moses Ezekiel, former Sergeant of Cadets, Virginia Military Institute, who is himself buried at the base of this monument.

Inscription:
NOT FOR FAME OR REWARD, NOT FOR PLACE OR FOR RANK, NOT LURED BY AMBITION OR GOADED BY NECESSITY, BUT IN SIMPLE OBEDIENCE TO DUTY AS THEY UNDERSTOOD IT, THESE MEN SUFFERED ALL, SACRIFICED ALL, DARED ALL, AND DIED 

See also jameswebb.comSpeech at the Confederate Memorial, 1990.

Moses J. Ezekiel was one of the VMI cadets who were called into action to plug a hole in the Confederate center at the Battle of New Market, and to repulse a Union Army advance.  Though young (17 to 21 years of age) and untested in battle, the VMI cadets prevailed, charging the Union cannon and sending the Yankees into retreat.  Ten of the cadets were killed outright or later died of wounds from the battle; fifty-seven were wounded.  Although Ezekiel later became a world-renowned sculptor, he chose to be identified on his tombstone simply as:
Sgt. Moses J. Ezekiel

Moses J. Ezekiel
Sergeant of Company C
Battalion of Cadets
of the
Virginia Military Institute

Ezekiel once wrote: "The VMI, where every stone and blade of grass is dear to me, and the name of the cadet of the VMI, the proudest and most honored title I can ever possess."

A detailed description of his life and works can be found here.  

Virginia never had a finer son. May he rest in peace.

****

For more of my views of Memorial Day, see my 2006 (updated to 2007) post, "In Flanders Fields." That story and the poem it created is unsurpassed in our remembrance of our war dead.

A list of several prior year posts on Memorial Days past can be found at this link.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moses Ezekiel by the way was Jewish. Not that it should matter but to the Buchanites who some how think that Jews came here only in the 1880's,it is worth noting. I am surprised that the Left is not trying to remove the memorial.

Stogie said...

Anonymous, yes Moses Ezekiel was indeed a devout Jew and was of Spanish-Jewish heritage.

The monument was approved by President Taft in order to heal the wounds of the Civil War, and later dedicated by President Woodrow Wilson. The monument was paid for with private funds collected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Always On Watch said...

I need to make a point of visiting this memorial. I've seen it in passing, but never up close.

Stogie said...

AOW, I want to visit it too. There is much to see right here in America before venturing afar.

christian soldier said...

The works of sculpture in DC are amazing-being a fairly new sculptor myself-It occurred to me on my last visit there-- that a tour -with a focus on the sculptural works- would be joy in which to participate--now to find a guide who knows where all of the works are...
Thank you for the introduction to Sgt. Moses Ezekiel...
C-CS

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