America used to be the proud home of civility. We can be again. Seldom does civility stand alone. It is seldom a one-time act. It invites compassion and sacred honor as sister pillars. It serves others and strengthens the bond in relationships.
An unequalled pledge of sacred honor took place on April 9, 1865:
As Lee rode “Traveller” to surrender to Grant at Appomattox, Grant formed his Union troops in two lines. They stood with their swords at attention as Lee, with great dignity, progressed the final yards to the farmhouse, riding between the “formed lines of respect.” With the slow, high-lifting discipline of each hoof, leader was preparing to meet leader at his and America’s best – in the worst of times.
During the surrender, a personal movement of appreciated civility occurred: “General Lee removed his sword and handed it to General Grant, and Grant handed it back.”
After the surrender, as General Lee mounted his horse to depart, General Grant stepped down from the porch, and, moving toward Lee, saluted him by raising his hat. All officers present followed him in this act of civility, compassion and honor. Lee raised his hat respectfully, and rode off in great dignity…loving America still.
- Excerpted from WalkTheTalk.com