It is crucial to remember a loved one when they are no longer with us, and eulogies provide an avenue for expressing our profound love and offering condolences. Many iconic tributes have been shared throughout time that still warm the hearts of people around the world – this article will explore 15 such heartfelt memories that remain ever-present.
A List of The Most Famous Eulogies
- On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a poignant and moving speech at the dedication of Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg. This iconic address has become an emblem for American courage and patriotism -allowing us to honor those who gave their lives during the Battle of Gettysburg while simultaneously paying homage to our nation’s devoted commitment to liberty. The Gettysburg Address profoundly demonstrates that freedom is admired by all generations past and present.
- Martin Luther King Jr.’s address, “I Have a Dream,” presented during the March on Washington in 1963 has become renowned for its passionate entreaty of optimism and unity. Widely viewed as one of the United States’ most significant speeches, this speech continues to captivate generations with its timeless delivery and influential words.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson penned one of his most celebrated works, “In Memoriam A.H.H” in tribute to his dear friend Arthur Henry Hallam who passed away at the young age of 22. In this profound poem lies a deep emotion that resonates with anyone who has experienced loss and offers comfort through its sincere expression of grief.
- Benjamin Franklin created a whimsical and jovial eulogy in memory of his beloved friend, Madame Brillon. This “Modest Tribute” to her character has become iconic for its unanticipated levity – an anomaly during this period in history.
- In “The Last Lecture”, Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University delivered an inspirational and uplifting message to all after his terminal cancer diagnosis. His words resonated throughout the lecture hall, eventually becoming a New York Times bestseller with millions of views from its viral video adaptation – touching hearts around the globe.
- John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” remains etched in our minds and hearts, reminding us of the tragedy of war and its victims. Its vivid imagery serves to honor those who have valiantly given their lives for our freedom, including his dear friend from World War I. As we reflect on this masterpiece today, let us never forget their service or the true cost of liberty.
- On April 4th, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr with a heartfelt eulogy that spoke of unity and justice in honor of the fallen civil rights leader’s legacy. With his words, he reminded us all that we must strive to continue King’s groundbreaking work for social equality so that one day true peace can reign throughout our world.
- Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is an exquisite poem that captures the impermanence of life and pays homage to the “rude forefathers” buried in a rural graveyard. Its poetic language will linger on long after you have finished reading it.
- With boldness and resilience, Pericles – the renowned Athenian statesman – addressed his countrymen in a powerful funeral oration during the tumultuous Peloponnesian War. His rousing eulogy praised Athens’ functioning democracy and encouraged them to keep striving for victory with freedom as their driving force.
- Earl Spencer’s address at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales continues to be remembered for its heartfelt and honest assessment of her life. The eulogy was also remarkable in that it blatantly denounced how the press had notoriously mistreated his beloved sister.
- The renowned poem, “On His Blindness” by John Milton, serves as a timeless expression of faith and contemplation on life – even during hardship. This eulogy to the poet himself speaks about his struggles with blindness in his later years but maintains its powerful message for those who experience suffering today.
- Ossie Davis delivered a stirring eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X in 1965, titled “The Eulogy of Malcolm X”. This address is remembered for its urgent plea to carry on with the civil rights campaign and its inspiring message that hope can prevail against injustice.
- Edward M. Kennedy honored his brother John F. Kennedy’s life and legacy during a solemn yet powerful eulogy in 1963, reminding the world to continue JFK’s mission for peace and justice. This moving tribute will forever remain an iconic reminder of their strong bond as siblings, friends, and fellow champions of progress.
- Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” is an emotional tribute to the late Abraham Lincoln, whose life was cut short in 1865. With its heartfelt lament and jubilant veneration of his memory, this poem has become a timeless classic that honors one of America’s greatest heroes.
- Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, paid heartfelt tribute to Steve Jobs with his eulogy delivered at the memorial service in 2011. This stirring speech recalled Jobs’ time on this earth and all that he achieved through his innovative contributions to technology and modern society as a whole.
In conclusion, eulogies have been an important part of human culture for centuries. They provide a way to honor the life of a loved one who has passed away and to express condolences and love to those who have lost someone. The 15 eulogies discussed in this article are just a few examples of the powerful and moving eulogies that have been delivered throughout history. Each one is a testament to the enduring power of love, hope, and faith in the face of loss and grief.