Here is Bill Federer honoring heroes on Memorial Day:
“The soldier … is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice.”
Douglas MacArthur told West Point cadets, May 1962:
”The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training-sacrifice.
In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those Divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image …
No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him.
However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.”
Memorial Day in America began during the Civil War when southern women scattered spring flowers on graves of both northern Union and southern Confederate soldiers,
In the War Between the States, over a half-million died.
Many places claimed to have held the original Memorial Day, such as:
- Warrenton, Virginia;
- Columbus, Georgia;
- Savannah, Georgia;
- Gettysburg, Pennsylvania;
- Boalsburg, Pennsylvania;
- Waterloo, New York.
One such place was Charleston, South Carolina, where a mass grave was uncovered of 257 Union soldiers who had died in a prison camp.
On May 1, 1865, former slaves organized a parade, led by 2,800 singing Black children, and reburied the soldiers with honor as an act of reparation and gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice which gave freedom to the slaves.
In 1868, General John A. Logan, commander of the Civil War veterans’ organization “The Grand Army of the Republic,” called for a Decoration Day to be observed annually on May 30.
President James Garfield’s only executive order was in 1881 where he gave government workers May 30 off so they could decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War.
During World War I, a Canadian Expeditionary gunner and medical officer, John McCrae, fought in the Second Battle of Ypres near Flanders, Belgium.
Read more: American Minute
Image credit: American Minute.