Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

On July 1-3, 1863, the American Civil War saw its turning point at the Battle of Gettysburg, where Union forces delivered a seminal defeat to Confederacy forces in a small Pennsylvania town just north of the Maryland border that marked the division between the Union North and the Secessionist South. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to give a speech at the consecration of the Soldiers National Cemetery being opened for Civil War dead. Lincoln's two-minute remarks have become known as the Gettysburg Address. It has been compared for its literary quality to Shakespeare and the King James Version of the Bible. It has no equal in its precise, sweeping defense of America's Founding Fathers' principles of republican government and equal rights for all. It also offers the clearest explanation of the moral and patriotic value of the sacrifice of American soldiers ever written. For those who think that America's dedication to her soldiers, whether war dead or living, is a recent phenomenon, I point out that the Gettysburg Soldiers National Cemetery was opened 150 years ago, and almost two years before the Civil War ended in the victory of the constitutional concept of the Union of American States. Here, on Memorial Day, the day when all Americans honor their fallen soldiers, are the timeless words of a fallen President, cherished by Americans as their greatest leader. ~~~~~ "Fourscore 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 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." ___Abraham Lincoln


  1. De Oppressor LiberMay 27, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    The finest most definitive speech ever given. The 2 minute, 265 word address will live and be recited as long as there is a free man or women alive. It is the sole and essence of what we are and really why were.

    I get a tear in my eyes ever time I read it ... which is often. They are words from Lincoln's heart not a speech writer appealing to classes of people for political gain.

    Casey Pops thank you so very much for sharing on this day of remembrance of those who have sacrificed all for all of us.

    1. De Oppressor LiberMay 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      Excuse me the word count is 272 words not 265

  2. Charles Sumner (January 6, 1811 – March 11, 1874) was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War working to destroy the Confederacy, free all the slaves and keep on good terms with Europe. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the Freedmen.

    Charles Sumner wrote of President Lincoln's speech:
    "That speech, uttered at the field of Gettysburg… and now sanctified by the martyrdom of its author, is a monumental act. In the modesty of his nature he said ‘the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.’ He was mistaken. The world at once noted what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech. Ideas are always more [important] than battles."

    The battle was tactfully important to the Civil War.It turned the advantage and started the downfall of the South. But Senator Sumner was dead on in his evaluation of the lasting importance of the speech.

    For Lincoln to say so very much in a few short words and minutes and construct it on his own was truly a "Divine Utterance" I have always believed. As a solider in many wars and conflicts I always carried a copy of this speech. It represented to me all that was important about remembering those who gave so very much so we could to this day have so very much. Not in material wealth but in wealth of freedoms and ideas that are still unimaginable to many people and countries yet today.

    On this day of remembrance of the fallen hero's of wars past, present and future... let's all say a prayer for them and dedicate to their gift to us the promise not to let anyone ever steal a single thing given to us by our Founding Fathers in our Constitution.

    "With malice towards none, but firmness in our continuance to all".

  3. A Tool 4 FreedomMay 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead". 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. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

    So today remember that far off relative, classmate, neighbor of long ago, resident of the town where you grew up, we all know someone or someone who has lost someone in a war ... take time today to pause and say thank you. They will hear

    Their loss was for our gain ... REMEMBER.