26 May, 2012
The Essential Holiday
Memorial Day is the essential holiday because without the people and deeds it commemorates there would be no other national American holidays.
Heroes are no braver than ordinary citizens, but they are brave for five minutes longer - even to the point of dying.
“The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and most solemn duty of citizenship are bearing arms for one’s country while the greatest act of patriotism is laying down one’s life for its sake.”
"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by those individuals who will freely struggle in the cause of freedom."
On the final Monday
Of the warming, blooming month of May
Many pause and some recall
Those who ultimately gave their all
This is fitting and this is proper
And we owe them time; we owe them honor
For the fallen brave do not truly die
No matter how long they peacefully lie
So long as there are some who don’t forget
To make a payment on this solemn debt
For glory illuminates the soldier’s grave
And beauty will ever cherish the brave.
Let them sleep in quiet rest.
They, our bravest and our best
They fought the fight and bore the scars
All glory is theirs while the duty is ours.
No matter how many years have passed
We must remember to the last
They died for us and for this land
So we could in this moment stand
And with loud voices raise a cheer
For those who faced and conquered fear
Oh, time and weather kindly spare
These fallen heroes who did dare
To die and leave all us to live on free
And the banner we unfurl over thee.
All honor be theirs through future days
Let scrolls and pillars speak their praise
And cruel neglect must never claim the dead
Who for their country fought and bled.
Through passing years come what may
We must celebrate this essential holiday.
We live in freedom today because brave Americans before us were willing to 'Die Young'.