|Verona Cemetery, Memorial Day 2015|
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 can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
When we lived in South Dakota, they stopped to recognize the sacrifice and service of the military on May 30, even if it wasn't a Monday. I recall thinking how peculiar it was and inconvenient to miss out on those three-day holiday weekends.
But that was the point. Instead of being lost amidst the waves, bar-b-que, and beer - it was a day dedicated to honoring, noting, thanking, and remembering.
Hopefully part of your Memorial Day was taking time to attend a program or ceremony. If you were unable to do so, consider this a second opportunity.
General John Logan, in 1868 speaking for the Grand Old Army, laid out the day's purpose:
“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,”
As the saying goes, "we are the land of the free because of the brave." Thank you.