150 years ago…
In May 1868, our nation observed the first
Decoration Day - a time for communities to decorate the graves of fallen
soldiers, particularly those who had lost their lives during the Civil War.
At a ceremony in Arlington Cemetery that year, Union General and Ohio
Congressman James A. Garfield (later the 20th President of the
United States) made the following remarks that still resonate today about those
who gave the ultimate sacrifice:
“…they summed up and perfected, by one
supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they
accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their
patriotism and their virtue.”
This holiday is one of our nation’s most
important, as we honor the men and women who put everything on the line to
uphold the freedoms and liberties that we too often take for granted. We owe
them and their families a debt of gratitude that can never fully be repaid.
As we go about our busy days, let’s pause to remember the millions of Americans
who gave the last full measure of devotion in loyalty to our country. May
we never forget them.
Editor’s note: “THANK YOU! Senator Morrell, for your
thoughts of remembering Them!” E T Russell
State Capital Memorial Gardens, Sacramento, California
more about the history of Memorial Day at >