On May 5, 1868, John A. Logan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, established Memorial Day to honor the fallen members of the U.S. military. In his proclamation, he said words that still ring true today. An excerpt:
“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated 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 reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or 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, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
“Let us…gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us…renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us—a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:5)
Welcome the deceased into Your Kingdom, Father.