Monday, May 30, 2011

In Honor of All Who Have Served

As I write, I am watching the History Channel's Gettysburg and am reminded of the solemnity of this occasion. I was also reminded of this as I stood among the headstones of those who have served our country. The boys and I returned to the Springfield National Cemetery to honor those who have served our country. Our cemetery was established in 1867 and many men who died in 1861 at the Battle of Wilson Creek, the first major civil war engagement west of the Mississippi river, would eventually be buried here. Buried here are soldiers from every war that America has been involved in, to include the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish American war, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and more recent conflicts. Also buried here are five Medal of Honor recipients and five Buffalo Soldiers. It is truly humbling to stand amidst these graves, knowing that they only represent a fraction of all those who have served this nation, fighting to keep us free. Now, as I watch Gettysburg, I am reminded of Lincoln's words: "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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 gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

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