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, Gettysburg Address
On the last Monday of May we gather together in respect of the Honored Dead. The insurmountable debt the nation owes its fallen war fighters, most keenly felt by their surviving family and friends, was willingly and in a way gladly given by the fallen.
The hallowed ground of the Nation’s Veteran Cemeteries are filled with men and women who stood up and in many voices and with many words said one thing. “Here I am. Send Me.”
Chosen or Volunteer, they went forward to battle on behalf of a nation, of a people, who often take for granted the truly unique freedom we enjoy and are poor stewards of it at home.
They deserve better.
We must do better.
We can do better. Each and everyday.
So enjoy the beginning of summer. Spend time with your family. Relax and have fun.
Raise a glass. Give a moment of silence. Attend a service.
The Honored Dead.