"We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."
Those are words from Lincoln's Gettysburg address in 1863 on the heels of that bloodly Civil War battle.
Unfortunately, most Americans are at best hazy about the meaning of Memorial Day. For most, its a day off from work to enjoy around the b-b-q or at a ballpark. But there's a higher purpose which is memorialized: devoted, simple, sacrificial service by millions of Americans for their nation.
Some of these servants bled on battle fields will others came home and died in their beds. Yet they all share a common fibre, a thread of connectivity. They wore the cloth of their nation.
This weekend, pause a moment and consider the work of our heroes and the values many died for. Let your children know about this rich heritage of service and sacrifice.
For without it, our nation would not exist.