Memorial Day 2023
Memorial Day 2023 - An American Remembrance
Memorial Day. A single day each year dedicated to those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country, the United States of America. On this special day, we remember Americans who died to keep their nation together, to defend hard won rights and liberties enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and to turn away those hostile forces who would threaten their country's existence.
Yet, Memorial Day was born of a time when Americans fought Americans in a bloody contest to determine, borrowing from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, whether our nation, conceived liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, could long endure. Best estimates are that about 600,000 Americans died. That was around two per cent of the population of the United States at that period in history. Given our nation's current population that would translate to over six million dead Americans.
At the war's end, we came back together as Americans. And though we still strive to form "a more perfect Union," we strive as Americans, regardless of other characteristics like race, color, or creed. Perhaps it's again fitting to turn to Abraham Lincoln. Though not a Memorial Day speech, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865, concludes with the following adjuration to all Americans: "With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan ~ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
What a great legacy that would be if we could honor those who've died in defense of liberty to bring about "... a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."