The Value of Ceremony

I spent a good portion of last week in Washington, DC, joining a bunch of 8th graders on their class trip. We visited most of the well-known sites. I think my favorite stop was Arlington National Cemetary.

During that visit, we also spent around an hour at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Some of the students were able to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony. We also watched the soldiers march back and forth in front of the tomb. As you know, this does not stop. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, these soldiers continue on with their duties. And thousands of people come to watch their rituals and ceremonies.

From my observations, the multitude of people watching the soldiers were impressed with the attention to detail and the work of the soldiers. They valued the ceremony.

Now here is a jump: Why will Americans put up with ceremony and ritual in this situation but are turned off by similar ceremony and ritual in the church?