Skip to comments.MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#5--"IT SHALL BE"
Posted on 05/25/2003 10:23:45 PM PDT by redrock
General Order No. 11
Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
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 churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or 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 by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a 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 found 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 free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull and 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 in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; 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 as sacred charges upon the 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 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 call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.
By command of:
JOHN A. LOGAN,
N. P. CHIPMAN,
And when the wind in the tree-tops roared,
The soldier asked from the deep dark grave:
"Did the banner flutter then?"
"Not so, my hero," the wind replied.
"The fight is done, but the banner won,
Thy comrades of old have borne it hence,
Have borne it in triumph hence."
Then the soldier spake from the deep dark grave:
"I am content." and the soldier asks once more:
"Are these not the voices of them that love,
That love--and remember me?"
"Not so, my hero," the lovers say,
"We are those that remember not;
For the spring has come and the earth has smiled,
And the dead must be forgot."
Then the soldier spake from the deep dark grave:
"I am content."
The girl hikes her tiny leg over the rail of the baby
bed and lowers herself to the floor.
Her small feet pad into her parents' bedroom where only
her mother sleeps now.
She crawls beneath the cool sheet in the spot where her
father once lay.
She tries to remember his arms holding her.
She buries her face into his pillow trying to smell his cheek,
tears smearing hers.
We have come a long way.....what started out as a simple way to Remember the dead....to Remember the Cost of our Freedom.
To now.....a 3 day weekend where most do NOT remember.
The first part of this post is the Original Order..to begin MEMORIAL DAY.
The second part is Oliver Wendell Holmes's favorite poem.
The third part is....well.....the PRICE that "those who wait" pay.
I firmly believe that if we are to restore our Freedom..if we are to forge a "re-birth" of our Country....if we are to "live up" to what was "intended" for our Nation...then we must renew the bond that exists,but forgotten, between us all.
That makes us Americans.
We can renew that sacred bond....by knowing the Cost of Freedom....the REAL cost.
It Shall Be.
Live free, die free!
MEMORIAL DAY 2003--#1--"My Daddy's Finally Home..."--- HERE
MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#2--"The Lesson's of Danny Flynn, Corey DePooter, Billy Scott & Earl Brown"--- HERE
MEMORIAL DAY 2003--#3--"I Came to See My Son's Name"---HERE
MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#4--"WELCOME HOME!!!!"---HERE
A week ago, when Hennepin County staged a tribute to the armed forces at the downtown government center, Lori Schmidt was basking in gratitude.
Her husband is a Minnesota National Guard member headed for peacekeeping duties in Bosnia later this year, and she had toted self-produced signs to the event that proclaimed "To Our Troops Home and Abroad Thank You." Perfect strangers crowded around her, wanting to buy one.
"With everything that's happened in the world, it just seems like people appreciate the job the troops are doing," said Schmidt, of Otsego. "It's exciting to see."
This Memorial Day, in the wake of the Iraq war, Americans' pride in the nation's armed forces is broad and deep, opinion polls show. In recent years, the military has been held in higher esteem than nearly any other institution.
Polls show that that has consistently been the case since the 1970s, even though veterans have long held the perception that the public turned sharply against the military during the Vietnam War.
"In a word, I think they're treating us better," said Gary Anderson, a local deputy vice commander in the American Legion.
"It seems like everything the military has done in recent years has been popular. Nothing like when I came home from Vietnam, where I was spit on and treated like crap," Anderson said.
The most recent poll, conducted earlier this month for the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, found that 94 percent of Americans have positive feelings about the military. None of those polled expressed negative feelings about the armed forces. A poll for Fox News got a comparable response.
A Harris Poll conducted late last year found that 62 percent of Americans said they have a great deal of confidence in the military, which ranked highest among 14 institutions. The White House came in second, with 40 percent expressing a great deal of confidence.
Other polls conducted last year found similar expressions of confidence.
Near the top
The Gallup Organization has tracked Americans' confidence in 18 institutions since the mid-1970s, and the armed forces have consistently scored at or near the top -- ahead of the Supreme Court, Congress and the presidency.
The last time the question was asked, June 2002, 79 percent of those polled expressed a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in the military. Health maintenance organizations ranked last, with 13 percent expressing the same degree of confidence.
When the question was first asked, in May 1975, 58 percent gave high marks to the armed forces, even though that was in the aftermath of Vietnam.
The ranking has never dipped below 50 percent, which it hit in late 1981. It reached its highest level ever -- 85 percent -- in March 1991, shortly after the Gulf War.
As the Wall Street Journal's new poll suggests, the armed forces could be in for another bounce in public opinion, now that the Iraq war has ended in victory.
"Performance trumps a lot of things and I expect that the military will get a big boost in public appraisal even though many people were not sold on the war," said Andrew Kohut, director of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
A Pew poll conducted early this year found that 87 percent of Americans believe the military is a good influence on the way things are going in the United States.
Maj. Gen. Eugene Andreotti, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, has a theory about the enduring nature of the armed forces' popularity.
The Pentagon's decision after Vietnam to ensure that the Guard and reserves would become an integral part of the military's war-fighting capability meant "it's not like Vietnam, where the military wasn't involved in the community," Andreotti said. "The people serving these days are people like moms, dads, plumbers, elected officials -- all part of the community."
In the service since 1975, when he joined the Air National Guard, Andreotti said he felt support for the military was weaker in those days "because people didn't see as much legitimization of the war then. People understand now that we don't declare war -- the politicians do. We're just the implementers."
Three decades ago, people never approached him on the street when he was in uniform to thank him for his service. These days, that happens often.
As enduring as public support for the military has been, Andreotti said it's likely to diminish only "if we lack communication with the citizenry. In the past, we did and it seemed like we had something to hide. We've come a long way with communication."
Bob von Sternberg is at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2003 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.
This Memorial Day editorial, first published in 1947, was written by the late Ben Hur Lampman, associate editor of The Oregonian.
Then do not think of them as being yonder in alien earth with little white crosses above. They are not there. For these were boys who loved the homeland -- her fields and forests, lakes and streams, her villages and cities. These were the boys who went to school here -- and would they stay away when they were mustered out? These were the boys who fished our creeks and climbed our mountains; the boys who plowed our fields and harvested our wheat; who manned our factories and each enterprise of peace. It is not right to think of them as being where they seem to be. It isn't fair. Often they used to talk of going home, and surely -- when death set them free -- surely they came. Now we who knew them well must know they are not there who are forever here, inseparable from the land for which they died. No troopship brought them home, for they came home the quicker and the shorter way. Is it the wind that stirs the flag?
Nor should we think of them as being beneath the sea, where the plane plunged or the wounded ship went down, fathom upon green fathom. They are not there. For these were boys whose laughter scarcely hid from us the consecration which they felt, and when they said that they would soon get it over and come home, they meant it, every word. She called them from their classes and the ball grounds, she called them from the desk and lathe, and from the homes that meant as much to them as to any that ever loved his home with the full measure of devotion. They never thought to see the world, at least until they might be middle-aged, but soon they saw it, island after island, port after foreign port, and many an island was fenced round with flame, and there was one port that they did not fetch. They died too soon to reach it and to hear the bands and speeches. But we who knew them, surely we must know that they were here before that, for they had said they would come home the moment that they could. And so they aren't there, but here. The ship came back without them, if it came at all, but they were here, not there. Is it the wind that stirs the flag again?
And where they kept the bargain, they who died for land and liberty, it matters not at all, nor where they seem to rest -- under the little white crosses or under the sea, or namelessly in the deep jungle. For they were boys who would not stay away when they were done with service, since often they had told themselves the first thing they should do would be to hasten home. And home they must have come. Where the trout rises or the grouse leaps into flight, or at the ball park, or along the seashore, these were the places that they loved -- these that forever are our country, and to which they, by their passing, have confirmed our title. They are here surely enough, and shall be for so long as liberty and America are one, and the flag means still what they knew it meant -- though they didn't say much about it. That was something they left to the orators and the politicians, and the editors. Do not think of them as being elsewhere. For they are not there -- who are here. Look. The light wind stirs the flag as though it caressed it, fold after fold. Look!
The average (whatever the hell that is) person understands......and honours the soldiers who man the walls.
Which REALLY pisses of the Liberals......
(It's for a GOOD cause)