“It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address
Memorial Day is not a day for blind patriotism, but for reflection on the horrible necessity of sacrifice to preserve the constitutional ideals of freedom. Today, whatever our politics, we honor those who have served to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”.