While doing some research for another topic entirely, I came across a piece of glass that is, frankly, amazing. It is a demi-lune presentation, and can be found in the Soldiers, Sailors, and Pioneers Monument in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio, and dates from 1906. It inspired me to look for more Civil War images in stained glass. They tell quite a story, and this particular story is for Memorial Day.
In our own secular time, we often forget that the nineteenth century was a time of great faith in America. Prior to the war, several prominent Protestant groups had split over the issue of slavery, immigrants from Italy and Ireland brought a fervent Catholicism with them, and even slaveholders felt that, although a slave should not be taught to read, he or she should be given religious instruction. Most people considered themselves Christian, and both sides of the war invoked God.
No matter what the war, or the country, churches and memorial buildings have been a repository for some beautiful stained glass tributes, invoking the soldiers who went to fight, and who did not return.
The writer in me wants to say more about stained glass, about Tiffany, about raising money for a glass panel, but my heart simply says, “Shut up and show the windows!” I am going with my heart this Memorial Day.