Memorial Day 2015

suvcw1Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day 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 church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If our eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of JOHN A. LOGAN, Commander-in-Chief

N.P. CHIPMAN, Adjutant General

Official:

WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

And so began one of America’s most solemn holidays. It nearly always featured the reading of the names of veterans departed during and after the war. It is very close in meaning to the British (and Commonwealth’s) Remembrance Day, for it too commemorates a lost generation. In 1860 the population of the United States (free and slave) was 31,443,321. Out of that population in the next five years there would be over 600,000 casualties or one out of every 52 people, and they were mostly young men.
They were nearly all volunteers, both sides had a draft but, in both cases it was ineffective and easily evaded. These were men who said what they meant and meant what they said, and proved it with their devotion to their cause. We’ve talked about them before and we shall again but, today let’s listen to some of their legacy, the music of America. This were losses on the scale of what Britain suffered in the Great War, and yet somehow we continued, carrying out our perceived mission.
As other wars happened, the losses in those wars were added to the lists, and the roll of the honored dead lengthened along with the list of faraway places with strange sounding names, which had once seen American soldiers, and their willingness to die for the cause.
And all those people also came to know one of America’s most dread but also most loved tunes, as we said goodbye to our comrades.
And so as you go about your day this Memorial Day, spare a thought and prayer for Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, those Americans who fought so hard for freedom, that they destroyed slavery as a by-product. They are also the only armies I know of that after a battle, or in camp would cheer themselves hoarse for each other.
And in a strange coincidence, today is also the Feast day of the Venerable Bede, that English monk who wrote what is still the standard history of Anglo-Saxon England and has become the patron saint of historians. In these sad days, when many denigrate the Faith of our Fathers, as well as the many virtues of our fallen soldiers, and indeed history itself. It is indeed fitting that we celebrate that these men did indeed once live and continue to inspire us.
Fort McPherson National Cemetery

Fort McPherson National Cemetery

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God
Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

9 Responses to Memorial Day 2015

  1. the unit says:

    Articles and comments about Democrat tweet with O eating ice cream cone. So many comments about this being a solemn occasion, not a happy day

    And on the campaign trail in first run for president O said…

    “On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes–and I see many of them in the audience here today–our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.”

    In story by Ed Morrissey, HotAir. Published Feb. 21, 2012

    Remember, in every time zone, at 3 PM, a minute of silence in commemoration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Solemn, yes but we should celebrate that such men lived rather than grieve that they died, at least according to GEN Patton. I agree though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yes, I agree. Celebrate in that sense certainly, I read somewhere that Grover Cleveland took the day off to go fishing. Article said doing so played a part in winning his next election.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Not a bad thing, neither is an ice cream cone, it’s easy to get hypercritical, but those guys would have done the same thing, I think. 🙂

          Like

        • the unit says:

          Not winning.

          Like

        • NEO says:

          Well, that happens too 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Grover just got a little too flexible before his next election. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Practically Historical.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: My Article Read (5-26-2015) (5-27-2015) | My Daily Musing

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s