Monday, May 25, 2009

Honor Memorial Day

Memorial Day serves as a time for all Americans to reflect on those who have fallen, both past and present, in service to their country. While protecting the values that we hold most dear, brave young men and women have paid what Abraham Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion” to their native land. Their courage and sacrifice form the hallmark of the greatness of our state and nation. We take time to remember and honor those who have sacrificed for the cause of freedom and those who are protecting us throughout the world today.

In November of 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, President Lincoln after a great battle took time to dedicate the battlefield to the fallen soldiers. In a short speech that would later come to be known as the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln delivered these words:

“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.”

We take heart even on this day of reverence that though we have lost many in the great history of this republic in service to our nation, their memory will never be forgotten. Their devotion to God and country lives on and reminds us that a new birth of freedom is a promise still possible.