The Christmas Day Truce

On December 24, 2015, in Christmas, Courage, Heroes, History, Peace, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

No one knows exactly where it started or how it started, but for one bitterly cold day peace settled over the killing fields of World War I. Christmas Eve 1914 was, according to one British soldier, “a beautiful moonlit night.” Frost covered the ground, turning the black mud white. Sometime during the evening, somewhere along […]

In Gardens of Stone

On May 25, 2015, in America, Courage, Death, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Memorial Day, Patriotism, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

In gardens of stone, lay soldiers who stood alone on frozen hills, beside vallied rills. In gardens of stone, a trumpet blown over markers of the brave, who rest within the grave. In gardens of stone, our flag is flown in vigil of red, white, and blue, for those who loved their country true. In […]

The Soldier on Crutches

On November 11, 2014, in America, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, Veterans, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of eleventh month in 1918, “the war to end all wars,” as it was touted, ended. The Great War—World War I—was the first modern war and ushered in a century of warfare that left in its wake unimaginable death, destruction, and disabilities. World War I itself took […]

“Unbroken”: Unspeakable Suffering, Unrelenting Savagery

On September 18, 2014, in America, Books, Courage, Faith, Forgiveness, Freedom, Heroes, History, Soldiers, Suffering, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Laura Hillenbrand has only written two books but she ranks as one of America’s most gifted narrative historians. Along with David McCullough and Nathaniel Philbrick, Hillenbrand’s histories are novel-like. But her histories aren’t make believe. Like McCullough and Philbrick, Hillenbrand’s storytelling talent is backed by meticulous historical research and rigor. In her first book, Seabiscuit: […]

Gettysburg, the Union, and the Fourth of July

On July 4, 2013, in Abraham Lincoln, America, Civil War, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, History, July 4, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Robert E. Lee and his army were soaked through when they marched south on the morning of July 4, 1863. The blood and sweat poured out over the past three days had been for naught. And the gloom of the Army of Northern Virginia matched the gloom of the weather. Lee had marched his more […]

Comfort Amid Chaos and Carnage

On April 16, 2013, in America, Courage, Culture, Death, Evil, Heroes, September 11, Suffering, Terrorism, by Derrick G. Jeter

With a sudden shock—an explosive concussion—we were reminded, once again, that evil is in our midst. The two bombs that killed three and injured 150 more at the Boston Marathon bespeaks of the fact that free societies cannot eliminate all evil acts and maintain freedom. But the bombings also bespeak of another truth—a truth more […]

“The Little Way of Ruthie Leming”: A Review

On April 15, 2013, in Books, Christian, Christianity, Courage, Death, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Love, Purpose in Life, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

Books that demand undivided attention don’t come along every day. Fewer still those that demand not just a reading, but a thinking—half swallowed and chewed again, as we might say in Texas. Rod Dreher’s memoir about his sister, Ruthie is just such a book. The Little Way of Ruthie Leming is not only beautifully written, […]

Remember the Alamo

On March 6, 2013, in Alamo, America, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, Texas, Texas Independence, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

In the spring and summer of 1835, Congressman David Crockett (no one every called him Davy) was campaigning for reelection. He had served Tennessee in the House of Representatives for three years, but he had accomplished nothing major as a politician. His opponents put up an able and likable candidate, the peg-legged Adam Huntsman. During […]

A Prayer for the Dead at Iwo Jima

On February 23, 2013, in America, Courage, Death, Freedom, Heroes, History, Marine Corps, Patriotism, Prayer, Rhetoric, Soldiers, Veterans, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue. These words, inscribed on the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, spoken by Admiral Chester Nimitz, capture the spirit of the Corps. But the prayer of Rabbi Roland Bertram Gittelsohn captures the heartache and dreams of the Corps. Gittelsohn was a navy chaplain who landed with the 5th Marine Division […]

Cato: A Tragedy, a Review

On December 30, 2012, in America, Books, Courage, Culture, Founding Fathers, Freedom, George Washington, Heroes, History, Patrick Henry, Patriotism, by Derrick G. Jeter

William Shakespeare was a genius. No doubt about it. I don’t know if he was a literal genius, but he was a literary genius. Joseph Addison didn’t match Shakespeare’s outpouring of literary works and doesn’t match Shakespeare in the literary genius department, but for one brief shinning moment Addison, and not Shakespeare, was the star […]