As we enter the month of May, we look forward to Memorial Day, a special day of honor for those who gave the “last full measure of devotion” for our country.
I cannot consider the Gettysburg address without visceral emotion as I read the context of that famous phrase from Lincoln’s short-but-moving speech:
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Think of all the wars and conflicts in America’s history, including the Revolution and our severing our ties from the “long train of abuses and usurpations” under George III, through the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the more recent conflicts fought in the ME.
Every time America was in need of warriors, brave men (and brave women) did not shirk their duty, but stepped up to safeguard our liberties.
Memorial Day is a time to remember, to honor the best and bravest who lived out the centuries old verse:
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
As written at usmemorialday.org:
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.
Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.
“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
Our special for the Month of May, and more importantly, for Memorial Day:
So join ROBAR in remembering those brave who have laid down their lives for the precious freedom we now enjoy!
Never forget the price that was paid!