"Why Memorial Day?" A Discussion and Book Forum on What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song
AEI Program on Citizenship and the Hudson Institute
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American public life requires citizens who know who they are as Americans, who are knowledgeably attached to their country and communities, and who possess the character--the attitudes, sensibilities, and virtues--necessary for robust civic participation. What So Proudly We Hail, edited by Amy and Leon Kass and Diana Schaub, seeks to help form such citizens, using the soul-shaping possibilities of American short stories, political speeches, and songs. Making citizens, like building character generally, requires educating the moral imagination and sentiments, and developing fitting habits of the heart--matters both displayed in and nurtured by our great works of imaginative literature and rhetoric. The readings collected in What So Proudly We Hail shed light on our civic character and ways, encourage thoughtful patriotic attachment, and elicit timeless aspirations for civic improvement--always with an eye on our founding commitment to freedom and equality.

 

Several selections in the anthology deal with the importance of civic holidays for the perpetuation of our institutions and the attachment of our citizens. This forum will introduce the book with a discussion of the meaning and importance of Memorial Day, a holiday first instituted to honor those who died in the Civil War defending the Union. The point of departure for our discussion will be a reading of "In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched with Fire," by Civil War veteran and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., delivered as a defense of Memorial Day on May 30, 1884. Panelists will then discuss the speech and the meaning of Memorial Day today.

Agenda
4:15 PM
Registration

4:30 PM
Panelists:
COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR MICHAEL T. HALL, US Army (Ret.)
AMY A. KASS, Hudson Institute
WILLIAM KRISTOL, The Weekly Standard
THE HONORABLE JOHN MCCAIN, US Senate
DIANA SCHAUB, Loyola University Maryland

Moderator:

LEON R. KASS, M.D., AEI


6:30 PM
Adjournment
Speaker Biographies

Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Michael T. Hall (ret.) joined the McChrystal Group in January 2011. He entered the US Army in August 1976 and was retired by the 75th Ranger Regiment after thirty-two years on active duty. CSM Hall was recalled from retirement in August 2009 to assume the duty position of command sergeant major for the International Security Assistance Force, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Afghanistan/US Forces Afghanistan, and he served in that position until September 2010. He returned to the United States and retired again from active duty in October 2010. CSM Hall has been involved with operational deployments including the Multinational Force and Observers Mission in Sinai, Operation Just Cause, Operation Uphold Democracy, Desert Storm, Phase III, Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with OLC, the Legion of Merit with OLC, and the Bronze Star Medal, among others.

Amy A. Kass is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Senior Lecturer Emerita in the humanities at the University of Chicago, and coeditor of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2011). For nearly forty years, she has been an award-winning teacher of classic texts. Ms. Kass was the founding director of the nationwide Tocqueville Seminars on Civic Leadership, and, more recently, the nationwide Dialogues on Civic Philanthropy. She has served on the National Council on the Humanities for the National Endowment for the Humanities and as a consultant to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Ms. Kass is an adviser to Civic Enterprises and the National Conference on Citizenship and a member of the board of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She is the author of numerous articles and editor of four other anthologies: American Lives: Cultural Differences, Individual Distinction (Golden Owl, 1995), Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (University of Notre Dame Press, 2000, with Leon Kass), The Perfect Gift: The Philanthropic Imagination in Poetry and Prose (Indiana University Press, 2002), and Giving Well, Doing Good: Readings for Thoughtful Philanthropists (Indiana University Press, 2007).

William Kristol is the founder and editor of the Weekly Standard. He is also a regular panelist on Fox News Sunday and a contributor to the Fox News Channel. Before founding the Weekly Standard in 1995, Mr. Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, which helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Before that, he was chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle during the George H. W. Bush administration and to Education Secretary William Bennett in the Reagan administration. Before coming to Washington in 1985, Mr. Kristol was on the faculty of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the University of Pennsylvania's political science department. He has published widely in areas ranging from foreign policy to constitutional law to political philosophy.

Senator John McCain has a remarkable record of leadership and experience that embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. Senator McCain was first elected to the US House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982, and he was elected to the US Senate in 1986. The son and grandson of distinguished Navy admirals, Senator McCain attended college at the US Naval Academy and launched a twenty-two-year career as a naval aviator upon his graduation. His last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the Senate. Senator McCain retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Diana Schaub, professor of political science at Loyola University Maryland, is coeditor of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2011). A member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society, she is the 2011-12 Garwood Teaching Fellow at Princeton University, where she will teach a course on American statesmanship in the fall. She is the author of Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu's "Persian Letters" (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995) and a number of book chapters and articles on political philosophy and the thought of the Founders and Abraham Lincoln, as well as literary and political essays appearing in the Claremont Review of Books, the New Criterion, the Public Interest, Commentary, First Things, the American Interest, and City Journal, among others. Ms. Schaub is a contributing editor to the New Atlantis and a member of the publication committee of National Affairs. In 2001, she received the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters.

Leon R. Kass, M.D., is the Madden-Jewett Scholar at AEI, Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and coeditor of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2011). Originally trained in medicine and biochemistry, he shifted directions from doing science to thinking about its human meaning, and he has been engaged for forty years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advancements, and, more recently, with broader moral and cultural issues. Dr. Kass taught at St. John's College (Annapolis) and Georgetown University before returning in 1976 to the University of Chicago, where he was until 2010 an award-winning teacher deeply involved in undergraduate education and committed to the study of classic texts. With his wife, Amy A. Kass, he helped found a still-popular core humanities course on Human Being and Citizen and a degree-granting major, Fundamentals: Issues and Texts, emphasizing big questions and great books. His books include The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature (University of Chicago Press, 1999), Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (University of Notre Dame Press, 2000, with Ms. Kass), Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics (Encounter Books, 2002), and The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis (Free Press, 2003). Dr. Kass served on the National Council on the Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities and delivered its Jefferson Lecture in 2009. From 2001 to 2005, he was chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics.

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