Like many Americans, I was glued to the television viewing the funeral ceremony of former President George HW Bush. I never got to know him personally but I knew from meeting him a few times that he was a very good man. He was the antitheses of our current President Trump.

We could use a few of Bush’s sayings such as “a thousand points of light” and “a kinder gentler nation”. This is in sharp contrast to our current President.

This time of year also calls to mind the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre that occurred on October 27 in which 11 people were killed and 7 were wounded.

I am not saying that Trump is anti Semitic and hates Jews, but the hatred expressed in his rhetoric makes incidents more common.

At this time of year I think of my wife’s and my dear friends the Hirsch’s. The patriarch of the family was Brigadier General Edward Hirsch. He was the only person I ever met who served the nation in three major wars — World War ll, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam. We always had Thanksgiving dinner together and I would propose a toast to him as my hero. He would demur and say “I didn’t do anything that anybody else wouldn’t have done. Even then he continued to serve his country by teaching at the Army War college.

My son Chris and the General’s grandson Andrew were the same age and were like brothers. Chris was only jealous that he did not get a Bar Mitzvah like Andrew did.

In my long career in the futures industry I got to know Leo Melamed, the Jewish founder of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. When I visited Chicago in February 2016 to race up the John Hancock Building I had a very good visit with him. He was surprised that I remembered the details of his book “Escape to The Futures” so well.

When Leo was a small  child his parents fled Poland as the Nazi army of Hitler was taking over. They took the Trans Siberian railway to Japan . Then they took a ship to the United States.

Michael R. McLeod