Posted By RichC on May 29, 2017
While looking back at previous year blog posts Memorial Day prior to making a 2017 update in order to see how I may or may not have recognized this sacred day, I realized just how many there were and it made me think about just “how many” have paid that ultimate price. Be sure to try and set aside this day for those, even if you don’t want ignore or appreciate others in and out of uniform willing to serve our country. Let’s not forget that today, Memorial Day, is reserved to remember those who sacrificed for this country and gave their lives for our freedoms. Be thoughtful on how you respect and honor those who paid the ultimate price.
If you are participating or attending in an event this Monday, think twice before campaigning, passing out political or business information, handing out candy in parades or in anyway taking away from the solemn day of mourning, remembrance and honor due to those who sacrificed all.
Both statesmen agree that the mere words of the present generation cannot do justice to the sacrifice of the fallen young. Lincoln sees the talking and the living as less authentic commemorators than the mute dead: “We can not consecrate—we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”
Pericles argues that even a notable such as himself has almost no right to assess the sacrifices of the dead: “I could have wished that the reputations of many brave men were not to be imperiled in the mouth of a single individual, to stand or fall according as he spoke well or ill.”
By their ultimate sacrifice—what Lincoln calls “the last full measure of devotion”—the mute war dead argue that even heroic men are less important than the eternal values of freedom and democracy that “shall not perish from the earth.” Such chauvinism assumes that democracies are by nature superior to the alternatives. Thus to Pericles, Athens was the “school of Hellas” and for Lincoln America was “a new nation, conceived in Liberty.”
For both orators, the dead are the natural link between self-sacrificing forefathers and the present generation’s own progeny, who at some future date may be called upon to emulate those who have died to perpetuate the nation. In this view, we are not quite unique individuals but part of a larger generation whose values and accomplishments are to be judged collectively and in comparison to what came before and will follow.
READ the excellent full article in Saturday’s 5/27/2017 WSJ