View Full Version : Memorial Day thoughts

05-26-2012, 08:14 PM
When most people I know think of Memorial Day, they think of those who gave so much in the wars since 1900. While I do honor these men and women, I also like to remind people that, at one time, our country was divided as to what "freedom" meant. That good people on both sides saw with fervor that their cause was just and right. We, as a nation, continue to acknowledge that others may be just as right as we are without having to renounce our position or applaud theirs. We recognize the right of the individual to fervently believe in a different way without damnation or harm from us.

I have, almost continually since the late 70s, posted the following on Memorial Day. It is not intended to slight any who do not believe in the politics of the speaker or the results of the war. It is, rather, a poignant and succinct tribute to those who should be remembered, but seldom are remembered, regardless of when or how they served this country.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Given November 19, 1863
Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this
continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war ... testing whether that
nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated ... can long
endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting
place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate ... we cannot consecrate ...
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or
detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say
here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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.