In his “Memorial Day Order” dated May 30, 1868, John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, wrote the following:
“…We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. 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 no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. 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 and 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 remains in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan…”
As we head into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, employees of Veterans Management Services, Inc. (VMSI) pause to remember the men and women who gave their lives in military service. There are many reasons why individuals may enlist in the military; however, a common bond that all share is a dedication to duty and a desire to serve a cause larger than themselves. As a country, we remember those we have lost through ceremonies, parades, awards and monuments. While time may heal the wounds left by someone’s passing, we are never truly the same again.
No matter your plans for the upcoming weekend, we hope you will take some time to reflect and give thanks to those who gave their life in service to this country. From everyone in the VMSI family, we express our gratitude to the veteran community, families, and friends, who have lost someone in the line of duty.