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Man Cannot Aspire to More than Handy Warren

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Handy Moore Warren
Feb 14, 1862
Apr 2, 1914
God's Noblest work Is Man.
As Such He Lived,
As Such He Died.
Man Cannot Aspire to More.

Beneath the inscription on Handy Warren's large tombstone in Evergreen Cemetery (Fitzgerald, GA) is a cross and sword in a crown. Most often I see the cross with crown, but rarely see the sword in there as well. The cross in crown first and foremost is a Christian symbol of the sovereignty of the Lord. The crown means victory, and the cross means Christianity.

This cross with crown symbol also often means the deceased was a member of the York Rite Masons. Adding the sword might denote more specifically the Knights Templar. There are usually two swords crossed behind a Maltese cross with the cross and crown in the center.

My hunch that Mr. Warren was a member of a Masonic fraternity was confirmed by his obituary:

Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
Sunday, 5 April 1914

"MORTUARY

H. M. Warren, Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, Ga, April 4 -- (Special) -- Handy Moore Warren died suddenly at 6 o'clock Thursday evening. He was taken ill on his farm a short distance from the city and was brought immediately to his home, but he never regained consciousness and died in a short time from apoplexy. Mr. Warren had lived in Georgia twenty years, fifteen of which having been spent in Fitzgerald. He was 51 years old and leaves a wife, three sons and one daughter. He was one of the first commissioners of Ben Hill county. The funeral was conducted by the Masons this afternoon, the business houses of the city being closed at that time by proclamation of the mayor."

According to census records, Mr. Warren was born in North Carolina. His sons were Earl, Needham, and William.

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The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)