Memorial Day - 1980
I was born on July 4, 1776, and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate.
The bloodlines of the world run in my veins, because I offered freedom to the oppressed.
I am many things and many people.
I am America!
I am 200 million living souls, and the ghosts of millions who have lived and died for me.
I remember the Alamo, the Maine, and Pearl Harbor.
When freedom called, I answered, and stayed until it was over -- over there.
I left my heroic dead in Flander's fields, on the rock Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea,
in the steaming jungles of Vietnam, and in the desert of Desert Storm.
I am America!
And we are Americans!
The graves of our brave soldiers are scattered all over the world.
Each lonely marker stands as a reminder that all we cherish has been preserved at such a great cost.
They died for liberty.
They died for us.
In the midst of battles, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death.
They are at rest.
At the close of the Civil War, a group of women in Columbus, Mississippi, honored both Confederate and Union dead
by placing flowers on their graves.
When the news of this act of compassion reached the North, it helped to heal the recent wounds the young nation had suffered.
In 1868 General John A. Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued his historical order
to all chapters of the Grand Army of the Republic to set aside May 30 as Decoration Day (now called Memorial Day)
to decorate the graves of the heroic dead.
And so today, we take this day to remember them.
Many Americans will place a flag or flowers on the graves
of those who served in the armed forces of our country.
We do remember them!
We will never forget them!
They still serve us!
Their memories are powerful influences on our lives!