Memorial Day

Has there been a speech more memorized and memorialized than the Gettysburg Address? Delivered by President Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863 while standing “on a great battlefield of that (Civil) war,” Lincoln’s hallowed words will last as long as our Nation is free. One line from that speech sums up Memorial Day for me: “…–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–…” On Memorial Day we stop our daily routine and prayerfully, thoughtfully, quietly, honor those who for a “great cause” gave their last full measure of devotion. In our great Country, we allow “we the people” through our elected officials to decide what that “great cause” is. Once the Soldier casts his vote, it is no longer the Soldier’s decision. Every time an American Soldier dies it is for a “great cause.” That cause is freedom. A freedom that is manifested by the will of the people. So we honor as we remember; but also we must take “increased devotion.” Why? To “highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” We must be devoted and vigilant to the cause of Freedom. For along with honored dead, the graves of the world are full of men and women who were slaughtered under tyranny. It’s trite to say, freedom is not free; but on Memorial Day, a remembrance day, the trite is so very true. MSG Half-Mast

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