This weekend, we remember those who gave their last full measure of devotion so that we might remain free and continue to enjoy the blessings of the greatest Republic the world has ever known:
Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
36 USC § 116 – Memorial Day
(a) Designation.— The last Monday in May is Memorial Day.
(b) Proclamation.— The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation—
(1) calling on the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace;
(2) designating a period of time on Memorial Day during which the people may unite in prayer for a permanent peace;
(3) calling on the people of the United States to unite in prayer at that time; and
(4) calling on the media to join in observing Memorial Day and the period of prayer.
The bloodied sun sinks in the west
And lights us all with glory;
Here sleep the brave in honored rest;
The bugler tells our story;
O dulce et decorum est pro patria mori;
O dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
Go tell the people, passer-by,
Read the stone before ye,
Tis sweet and fitting that we die
For our country’s glory;
Obedient to your will we lie
Pro patria mori;
O dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. …
Marian H. Neudel, 1990
The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo’
No more on life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few;
On Fame’s eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread;
But Glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.
Theodore O’Hara, 1847
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.
President Abraham Lincoln, 1863
We at WTPOTUS wish you a safe, peaceful, and blessed Memorial Day weekend. Be careful out there.