The Morning Jolt


The Meaning of Memorial Day

Dear Friends,

More and more I consider Memorial Day the most meaningful federal holiday. Maybe that’s inspired by my love for old films: Every year, and once again this year, Turner Classic Movies presents a 72-Hour Memorial Day Marathon that pays fitting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as a nod to the lighter side of men in arms. Scheduled for tonight are a string of WWII submariner movies, including Cary Grant in Destination Tokyo. Have a watch. And say a prayer of thanks for America’s honored dead.

National Review is closed today, which means this Holiday Jolt was scheduled in advance (last Friday, in fact, by Paul Crookston, a great colleague who leaves his fellowship here at NR, to be sorely missed). But do visit the website to see wise commentary that takes no day off. Meanwhile, we’ll take this opportunity to remind and recommend a few things.

Remind: We’ve finished our second week of the NRO Spring Webathon, which I explain (brilliantly!) right here. If you’re ready to donate and don’t want to hear my pitch, then go straight to the NRO donation page.

Also: Our friends at National Review Institute are in the midst of their effort to raise funds to promote and enhance the vital Bill Buckley Legacy, and much more. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution to support NRI’s broad and worthwhile mission, and I encourage that, then do so here.

Recommend: I bumped into pollster and past NR cruise speaker Scott Rasmussen — now the senior fellow for the study of self-governance at The King’s College in New York City, and editor-at-large at Ballotpedia (which publishes his very cool Number of the Day e-mail newsletter) — a couple of weeks back at an NRI dinner. We had a great visit and I’d like to encourage you to check out his wise, recent book, Politics Has Failed: America Will Not.

More recommending: John Miller’s latest Bookmonger podcast is an interview with Senator Ben Sasse about his important new book, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming of Age Crisis, and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance.

Speaking of Podcasts: In a good-news edition of The Liberty Files, David French talks with the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Jim Campbell about how a t-shirt company in Kentucky is fighting — and winning — against efforts to force it to print pro-LGBT messages.

Speaking of David French: Here’s a different kind of “trans” thing — he will be on the National Review 2017 Trans-Atlantic Crossing. You should be too. There are a handful of cabins left. Get one.

One more book to recommend: Alvin Felzenberg’s acclaimed new bio, A Man and His President: The Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley Jr., is simply terrific. Please purchase a copy. And listen to the aforementioned John Miller do his Bookmonger thing with Al. It’s a great conversation.

Jim returns tomorrow. And we end this Holiday Jolt by asking God to bless and comfort all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for America and its freedoms.


Jack Fowler

National Review

ADDENDA: I suggest a song for the day: Eternal Father, Strong to Save, also known as The Navy Hymn. You will find a beautiful brief rendition here.