Rotunda Thoughts

We the people throw a nice funeral, don’t we?

“Sergeant York” was a very skittish horse. Either his master was a lot more nervous than he led on, or that horse needs a lot of training with crowds and guns.

Nice boots.

Don’t clap for a coffin caisson, okay?

I’m glad they had more than one team to carry the coffin up all those steps. I particularly respect the guys in front.

Navy sailor pants are…thin. Holy cow, you could see people’s undies!

There is such a thing as too much T.S. Eliot. I realize he’s practically an Episcopal saint, and that was a very clever choice of quote. But was it comforting? The Senate Chaplain, Barry Black, did a better job with his “toppling towers of totalitarianism” and quote from “Day by Day”. Simplicity goes better with grief.

The director of the Singing Sergeants was very interesting. Did you notice he was directing the choir about a bar ahead of the music, on what to do next instead of what to do now? I’ve never seen someone do that before. The singing was very well done, but it was also perfectly obvious that they had practiced in the Rotunda and learned how to take advantage of its freaky acoustic properties. The arrangement was also unique, with the verses switched so that “pilgrims’ feet” came last. Nicely, nicely done.

I had a lot of respect for everyone who came, from the dignitaries (who, as my friend Joy noticed, were incredibly still and well-mannered) to the normal people visiting the Rotunda. The people in line seemed in good spirits though subdued. It looked like a block party. If the Capitol is “the People’s House” (I thought that was the White House), then last night the Steps and the Mall were the People’s Porch and Backyard on a lazy summer night.

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  1. Anonymous

    Hi. I’m in the Singing Sergeants and read your post after doing a search. That’s interesting you thought our conductor looked like he was a bar ahead. He wasn’t. I couldn’t sing to that. Yikes! We did rehearse in the rotunda the morning before, but the sound is very different when it’s full of people. It was an amazing, surreal experience.

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