Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Good Reads: Tell My Sons

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.


Louise Gallagher said...

Ummm.... you didn't warn me about watching the whole video.

I met Bufert. I don't like him. But I like your friend David Murray for the work he's done on this book.

And I am in awe of Lt. Col. Mark Weber.

He made me cry.

And yes, I too could not keep it together.

Thank you Glynn.

PS -- I'm a liberal and I like you.

David said...

Glynn, thank you for this generous post--and for all your generosity over the years. The deal is, you and I share a lot more than we don't. (And we don't share a lot, so we must share a TON.)

Communicators and lovers of children and fallers-apart-at-father-son-farewells, UNITE!


Mark Weber said...

Glynn -

David shared the link to your blog with me.

Your description of the relationship between you is, as you'll find, part of the message I'm leaving to my boys. Though I'm biased, I think it's the model. And the idealist in me thinks we all can do a much better job than we do at it.

Thanks for posting your reflections on it all.


Mark Weber said...

...oh, and those who buy from Beaver's Pond Press,
will receive the audio book narrated by me for free. (A discount code is listed on the page "Matthew" to provide pricing that matches Amazon.)