Felix Adler once said, "The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by."
That is a perfect description of what Memorial Day is all about. It is one of my favorite holidays. I like it because it allows me to honor those brave soldiers, who died fighting for our great nation. There are other holiday's that honor ALL soldiers, but this one is special, because of what it represents.
"Oh, tell me not that they are dead, that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism? Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. Before, he was yours: he is ours. He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten: or neglected : and it shall by and by be confessed of our modern heroes, it is of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life." (Henry Ward Beecher)There are a few ancestors in my family tree that died while fighting for their country. I have already written about Jacob Speck and John Frogge, Jr. Another, Elijah Koger , was killed during the Civil War.
"We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them." ~ Francis A. Walker
This weekend, I will visit a couple of cemeteries, where dead soldiers are buried, and I will praise them and the others who died for our country. They deserve our praise and our patronage. We can never forget their sacrifice. I hope you will take the time to remember them, too!
"There is no greater sacrifice than to give one’s life for the good of others.” (Shakespeare)
Happy Memorial Day 2012