Renewing the American Spirit

Patriot Week begins on 9/11 and ends on 9/17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (Constitution Day)) and renews America’s spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Many of current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning. We need to invigorate our appreciation and understanding of America’s spirit. This blog is dedicated to keeping the spirit of Patriot Week - and America - alive all year long.....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day's True Meaning

Dear fellow Patriots,

Today is Memorial Day. One of the reasons Leah and I started Patriot Week
is because the civic calendar, including Memorial Day, has been generally
 gutted and stripped of its true meaning. For too many, Memorial Day has
become an empty excuse for a barbecue and to start the summer.

Memorial Day, however, has very a deep meaning and a very long history,
which we all should all try to honor. Although the exact origins are in hot
dispute, suffice it to say that many communities across the United States
were engaged in memoralizing their Civil War dead during and following
 that great and terrible conflict.

On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, national commander of the Grand
Army of the Republic, promulgated General Order No. 11, which was the
first official promulgation of Memorial Day. General Order No. 11 provided
 that flowers would be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate
soldiers on May 30, 1868. (Order No. 11 is below.) In the Order, General
Logan reflected he hoped it would become an annual tradition, and it did.
 With World War I, that tradition expanded to include all war dead.

This day the nation should remember those who, in the words of Abraham
Lincoln, gave their "last full measure of devotion" to protect our liberties
and freedoms from the Amerian Revolution to the present. It is through
their sacrifice that the "last best hope of earth" has survived and prospered.

General Logan's Order stated, "Let no 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." Indeed.

God bless you, the sacred dead, and America.

Very truly yours,

Hon. Michael Warren

General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters.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 the 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 of other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind of fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers and sailors and marines, who united to suppress the later rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead?  We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.  All that the consecretaed 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 pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverant visitors and fond mourners. Let no 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 other eyes grow dull and others hind 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; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom left among us a sacred charge 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 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 call attention to this Order; and lend its friendly aid in bringing it ito 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
                         Commander in Chief

For more, visit Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

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