Thoughts on Memorial Day


By Scott Robertson

As I am wont to do around holidays, I am surrendering this space today to those who are much smarter, brighter and more articulate than I am when it comes to addressing the meaning of the commemoration.

It is important beforehand, though, to note that Memorial Day is the most somber of American observances. For while Veteran’s Day is full of grateful smiles and handshakes for those who served and sacrificed for us all, and while Independence Day is a proud and joyous celebration of the freedoms which those veterans defended, Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of the great price at which freedom comes.

The following is presented on behalf of all here at News & Neighbor with profound admiration and gratitude to those who, as Lincoln said, gave their last full measure of devotion to this great nation. May we incessantly honor their memory by striving to make our nation worthy of their sacrifice.


Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori.

(It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country.) – Horace


The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. – Aaron Kilbourn


On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation. – Thomas William Parsons


The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. – John 10:11


They fell, but o’er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save. – Francis Marion Walker


I die content; I die for the liberty of my country. – Last words of Marshall Lannes


Nothing so much enhances the good than to make sacrifices for it. – George Santayana


He who dies for virtue does not perish. – Plautus


The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree. – Thomas Campbell


War is not sparing of the brave. – Anacreon


Life’s race well run/

Life’s work well done/

Life’s victory won/

Now cometh rest. – John Mills


Self-sacrifice is awful beauty. – Whittier


And they who for their country die/

Shall fill an honored grave/

For glory lights the soldier’s tomb/

And beauty weeps the brave. – J.R. Drake


Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours. – Wallace Bruce


For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue. – James Garfield


We come not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. – Francis Walker


…We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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. – Abraham Lincoln


About Author

Comments are closed.