As a friend of Bill Rusher’s for 45 years, I can say the vignettes by his friends and colleagues (“Remembering Bill Rusher,” May 16) accurately capture Bill, the man and his life. I thought the following denouement might be of interest to your readers:
A man of impeccable judgment, Bill chose to be interred in the Self family plot (where his mother also lies), in a piece of America’s heartland, Independence, Kan. The burial took place on Holy Thursday. Bill called for no fuss in Independence — as he said, no one knew him there (although his column ran in the Independence Reporter until the end). But three of us — 40-year friend Alfred Tong; an 83-year-old great aunt; and I — met him in Independence and accompanied him to the gravesite. I read a few passages from the Anglican book of prayer (Bill was an adult convert) and ended with the little quatrain by the 19th-century poet Coventry Patmore, about which he once wrote, “I like to end my talks [with it], because it is optimistic and true”:
For want of me the world’s course will not fail.
When all its work is done the lie shall rot.
The Truth is great, and shall prevail
When none cares whether it prevail or not.
Nearly equidistant between the two cities he loved — New York and San Francisco — America’s heartland, from whence Bill began his journey as an American patriot, is where Bill Rusher deserves to rest. Given his fastidiousness, I doubt the full import of his decision was lost on him.
Bill was lowered to his grave at high noon in San Francisco–like weather conditions, an American flag fluttering nearby in the breeze. I wept in the morning. The skies wept in the afternoon. As I drove away from Independence the next day, also at noon, the sky was clear blue — in thanks, I dare say, to Bill’s contribution to the world.
Thank you, Bill.
Frank A. Shepherd
Coral Gables, Fla.
Because of a typographical error in an editorial in our June 6 issue (“The End of Osama”), we incorrectly paraphrased George W. Bush. He vowed that Osama bin Laden would be taken dead or alive.