In Memory Of Those Who Served (2014)

The Federal Evidence Blog returns

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

after Memorial Day

Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. See 5 U.S.C. § 6103 (federal holidays).

On the significance of this special day, Francis A. Walker authored “Our Dead Soldiers,” which was published in 1911 in the book Memorial Day by Robert Haven Schauffler:

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. For one, I have never liked, even from the first, to see, as so often is the case, the flag at half-mast upon Memorial Day. But if ever it was appropriate it long since ceased to be so. After so many years, tears no longer befit the place where the soldier lies in his last sleep. The bitter grief which their untimely deaths brought to so many hearts, Time, the all-healer, has mercifully soothed and softened into pathetic memories and pious veneration. Many who then mourned in all pain and passion of bereavement have themselves followed after, and are now at peace where there is no more sorrow nor crying, no more war and fighting, no more absence nor parting.

But while the reason for personal grief has been steadily diminishing with the lapse of time and with the passing away of those who once mourned, the reason for praising these men and honoring them in MEMORIAL DAY the eyes of the nation has been steadily increasing, as we have come to see more and more clearly the vast and ever-growing significance of that which they did. When our dead soldiers were brought home from battlefield or hospital to be laid in quiet graves, no man in all the land, not even he whose great prophetic soul conducted the nation to its final deliverance, could possibly rise far enough above the clamor and the strife, the anguish and the agony of the time, or peer far enough into the cloudy and threatening future to see the half of what the dullest of us now sees of the greatness of the blessings which were to be purchased by those most pathetic sacrifices. What they died intent on witnessing, we have lived to see, " the nation redeemed by the blood of its loyal sons, disenthralled from an ignoble bondage, purified of a loathsome leprosy, healed of what seemed a fatal breach among its members, " rise, glad, proud, free, triumphant, jubilant, to address itself to the remaining problems of its existence, to do its appointed work for its own citizens and for all humanity, and to take its rightful place among the nations of the earth with a power not till then suspected, with a true national purpose that before had been doubtful, hesitating, and divided, with a real national character that had before been unformed, inconsistent, and weak.

The nation they saved is in a high sense another na tion from that which they went to save, which they died hoping to save. It has at last a definite purpose. That purpose is resolute, considerate, peaceful, beneficent. It has at last an established character. That character is strong, loyal, acquisitive, enterprising. The nation which amid general gloom and grief entered into that giant struggle, was at the best but in the second rank among the powers of the earth. The stain of human slavery defiled its flag and disfigured its escutcheon. Its industrial system was paralyzed along one entire side by laws which made labor dis honorable and defaced the image of God in man. The shameful sweat of unrequited toil and the poisonous blood that dripped from the lash were slowly sterilizing one-half of its soil. Between the two sections, with their antagonistic civilizations, political passions had long been making ever deeper and deeper divisions. The nation which emerged from that struggle free, victorious, and forever united has already assumed the primacy among the nations; and its power for good, alike to its own citizenship and to all human kind, has scarcely yet been intimated to our feeble, faltering faith. The glorious mission to which it is called is to illustrate to the world the blessings of peace and liberty and educated labor.

It was to achieve this mighty deliverance, it was to work this marvelous transformation that our brave soldiers died. Honor, then, immortal honor, to their memories! Forever green be the graves in which they shall lie among a grateful people rejoicing in the benefits won by their heroic sacrifices and untimely death!


Subscribe Now To The Federal Evidence Review

** Less Than $25 Per Month ** Limited Time Offer **

subscribe today button

Federal Rules of Evidence