Happy Memorial Day
Happy Memorial Day, the de-facto start of Summer.
While it is wonderful to enjoy a Happy Memorial Day with friends, family, neighbors and others, as do we, it is important to take time to remember and honor those who have given “their last full measure” in defense of our democracy. Those great individuals should be celebrated and honored for the lives they lived, and gave, so that we might enjoy our friends, family and neighbors in a free society.
National Public Radio had a good post here yesterday on the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, as well as do’s and dont’s for the day and the weekend. Another good post on the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day appeared on the New York Daily News site today.
We like this post of quotes, too. Here are a few of the quotes to remember as you enjoy a happy Memorial Day:
Decoration (Memorial) Day, 1891
“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”
Memorial Day, 1982
“I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country… Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”
Gen. George Patton
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.”
Gettysburg Address, 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on 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 battle-field 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 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. 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.
It may be worth noting that Wisconsin incurred the greatest number of casualties in the Civil War, per capita, of any state in the Union.
Now, we wish our fellow Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites a Happy Memorial Day.