gettycem  Soldiers National Cemetery

Today is the day we pay tribute to those men and women who gave their lives in the service of our great country – thank you!

I would like to think that I have the power to write words that capture the essence of what Memorial Day means, but why make a feeble attempt when we can turn to the words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

I do find it curious that so many people are commenting on social media that Memorial Day is for those fallen, and Veterans Day is for those living. Can we not agree that both days, along with the Fourth of July are inextricably linked together?

Even Lincoln pays tribute to both the living and the dead; while it is entirely appropriate to have a day dedicated to the dead and living, and a day for celebration, that on this solemn day of remembrance it is befitting to thank all who have served.

Thank you!