I’ve known David Murray for about two decades. I first met him when he was editor of Speechwriter’s Newsletter for Ragan Communications, and I met him in person in Washington, D.C., at the Speechwriters Conference at the Mayflower Hotel.
By any definition today, David and I should not even be speaking to each other. We sit on opposite sides of the great divide in American politics – he leans hard to the liberal side, and I don’t. He lives in Chicago, where the cemeteries used to vote but no longer have any need to. I no longer write speeches for my day-to-day job (I do occasionally freelance, though), and he’s editor of Vital Speeches of the Day, which in speechwriting circles is the top of the heap.
But we are friends, and we respect each other, bound by a mutual love for words and well-written (and well-spoken) speeches. David taught me that liberals love their children just as much as conservatives do, that family is important, that doing good and fine work is what you do because who really wants to be known for anything else.
That David and I are friends proves that civility is still possible in America. Even if he has weird politics.
On Wednesday, David posted an article on his blog about a book he’s co-authored with Lt. Col. Mark Weber of the Minnesota National Guard. I had no idea he was doing something like this. The book is entitled Tell My Sons, and it is about what a dying father wants his sons to know.
Lt. Col. Mark Weber is dying of cancer. And David has helped write his story.
The video below is of Weber and his son singing “Tell My Father” at a banquet in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s a Civil War era song, and when I watched it I completely lost it.
I bought the book. It’s available through Amazon Kindle now and will be available in print later in December. I watched the video again. And I watched it again.
I thank my friend David Murray for doing the good work of helping write this book.