For love of country they accepted death… ~James A.
The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves a
thousand living men.
~Minot J. Savage
Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen,
Was the thought of duty
done and the love of his fellow-men.
I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never
quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration
Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those
whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.
We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.
These heroes are dead. They died for liberty – they died for us. They are at
rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered
stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and
the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless
alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may
run red with other wars – they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the
roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for
soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. ~Robert
They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. ~Henry Ward Beecher