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Memorial Day Order



May 25, 2009 – Comments (5)

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will, in their own way, arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

II. 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? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilthat 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 pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no 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.

III. 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 remain to 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; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation's gratitude—the soldiers and sailors widow and orphan.

IV. It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

V. Department commanders will use every effort to make this Order effective.

—General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters[1

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 25, 2009 at 9:30 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

Thank you Devoish. It's also important to remember that Memorial Day is very different in purpose from Veteran's Day that we celebrate on the 11th day of the 11th month and was originally Armistace Day, but Veteran's alive today should be recognized on Memorial Day; in light of their representing those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and who were willing if needed to do the same. 

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#2) On May 25, 2009 at 10:25 PM, rd80 (94.67) wrote:

Great post Devo.

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#3) On May 25, 2009 at 10:30 PM, Mary953 (85.27) wrote:

Thank you, Devoish.

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#4) On May 25, 2009 at 11:17 PM, wolfhounds (65.64) wrote:


LT. COL. JOHN McCrae, CANADIAN ARMY (1872-1918)


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow                                                Between the crosses row on row,                                                   That mark our place; and in the sky                                             The larks, still bravely singing, fly                                                 Scarce heard amid the guns below.

  We are the Dead. Short days ago                                             We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,                                         Loved and were loved, and now we lie                                                      In Flanders fields.

  Take up our quarrel with the foe:                                           To you from failing hands we throw                                            The torch; be yours to hold it high.                                              If ye break faith with us who die                                          We shall not sleep, though poppies grow                                                In Flanders fields.                                                      


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#5) On May 25, 2009 at 11:36 PM, MikeBobulinski (< 20) wrote:

Great post, and thank you.

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