“of Soldiers and Masons”

MW Jan E. Savarino

Past Grand Master

“I’ll tell you what bravery really is. Bravery is just the determination to do a job that you know has to be done.”

Bro. MAJ Audie L. Murphy, known as the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II.

The American Canadian Grand Lodge evolved from military Lodges of the Allied Forces in Germany after WW II. Up until the late 80ies, many of our Lodges held their stated meetings within US military facilities. Thus, the link between the Lodge and the military in the ACGL has always been part of our heritage. Much different is the stance of the Grand Lodge with the largest number of members in Germany: The ‚AFuAMvD‘ Grand Lodge was constituted in 1949 as a merger of 10 pre-war Grand Lodges. This unification necessitated the creation of a mindset and ritual that met all different varieties of Masonry. The common ground uniting these Lodges is the attitude of a peaceful, charitable institution dissociating itself from any form of militarism and self-labelled as ‚humanistic Masonry‘. Some of these Lodges‘ by-laws even prohibit the wearing of uniform at their meetings. Looking at another German Grand Lodge, the ‚three World Globes‘ (3WK) was founded in 1740 by King Frederick the Great, at a time when almost all Lodge members wore uniform during their meetings. Back in the 18th and 19th century, Masonry was very popular among senior servicemen throughout Prussia or the German Empire. Today, there are 3 so-called ‚Field and Military Lodges‘ chartered under the 3WK, where soldiers, policemen, firemen et cetera are encouraged to wear their respective uniform during their meetings.
What unites both institutions is that Masonry and the Military share the necessity of a uniform, by which its members are distinguished as such. Be it the tunic or the apron: both items embody the solemn obligation that had to be sworn before receiving the privilege to wear those emblems. It is the oath that makes us act as a Mason or as a soldier in our daily lives, bearing the self-concept of the institution in our hearts and minds.

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