Ronald Reagan once said of Memorial Day, “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”
Those that love liberty and individual freedom remember this weekend the cost paid to secure it. Freedom has never been and will never be free or easy.
As an old Up With People song goes, “Freedom isn’t free. You’ve got to pay a price. You’ve got to sacrifice, for your Liberty.”
For those who do or did sever, we thank you. For those who gave the ultimate gift for future generations, we remember.
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.