I continue to be shocked by the anti Semitic violence that occurs in our nation. The news is full of this on this day, December 29, 2019 in New York. I still vividly recall what happened in a Pittsburgh Synagogue on October 28,2018 when 11 elderly Jewish victims were murdered.

I have known several admirable Jews, such Leo Melamed of Chicago, the founder of the Commodity Mercantile Exchange. He was a little Jewish kid in Poland when his parents took him on the trans Siberian railroad to Japan, where they took a ship to America.

I spent an hour talking to Leo two years ago when I went to Chicago to race up the 94 floors of the Hancock Building. He seemed quite surprised that I remembered everything in his book “Escape to the Futures." I responded by saying “How could I not remember?“

On a personal level, a Jewish couple, the Hirsch family in Alexandria, VA, have been our closest personal friends for years. Our two boys played together almost every day. We would share a Thanksgiving dinner every year.  I would propose a toast to the family patriarch General Hirsch because he is the only person I ever met who fought for his country in three wars, World War II, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam. After his retirement he taught in the War College. When I proposed the toast, he just said, “I didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t do.”

I attended the funeral of the Brigadier General Hirsch. It was the most impressive funeral I have ever been to, with the horse with no rider, and the integration of Jewish custom and military tradition .

 

Michael R. McLeod