Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Memorial Day

Posted by Ron Coleman on May 27, 2007

The greatest ever Memorial Day words were uttered not on the eve of summer, but in November:

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.

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One Response to “Memorial Day”

  1. Bob Miller said

    This was written by the commanding general of the US 102nd Infantry Division in WW2, introducing a history of that unit:
    http://www.lonesentry.com/102thrugermany/pg09.html

    No history, regardless of our effort, could ever depict the indomitable courage, tenacity of purpose, and outstanding accomplishments of the men of this division during our campaigns in northern France and Germany. From the day we embarked in New York harbor, until the cessation of hostilities, your exploits continually contributed to the defeat of the mightiest army on earth and aided in bringing peace to all mankind. The hardships you endured last winter were severe and taxed your heart and soul, as did the terrific ordeals of combat in which you participated for 194 consecutive days, and you won acclaim and praise in many forms. Never once did you fail, no matter how difficult the task, nor was the resolution to accomplish any mission by the front line soldier and the men supporting him anything short of superb in efficiency and dogged determination. I could never express the deep admiration I bold for your faithfulness, loyalty, perseverance, and fidelity; nor could I ever tell you how proud and privileged I am to have served with you.
    There is but one more battle to fight and I know you shall not be found wanting in the completion of this mission. It is the battle for perpetual peace and a better world in which to live. You have a very definite task to perform and must prosecute it with the same spirit in which you fought. As citizens of the finest country on this planet, I hope you shall take back with you an indelible impression of the better things in life; a more thorough understanding of human nature and mankind in general; and a full realization of your duties of citizenship. They are as definite, serious, and obligatory, as the tasks you performed in uniform. Never forget this responsibility.
    Many of our comrades will not see or read this brief history of the 102d Infantry Division. They repose in eternal sleep. The sacrifices they made were comparable to yours in every way and they gave their lives for us and our country that we may carry on where they left off. It is to them, the personification of the spirit of the Ozarks, that this volume is humbly dedicated.
    Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember the pride and prestige the division has established, and never lower our standards. You have done a magnificent job and I congratulate you.

    FRANK A. KEATING,

    MAJOR GENERAL, U.S. ARMY,
    COMMANDING.

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