Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Nature of Memorial Day

Borrowing from yesterday's  Editorial in the Bangor Daily News, the following are some excerpts to give us some points to ponder about the nature of Memorial Day, our Country and about Maine....

Long before sales and sports and the three-day weekend, Memorial Day was a day of mourning. .. 
Each Memorial Day has been a time for words of reflection and gratitude, to assess America’s place in the world and the prospects for lasting peace. Consider these words from earlier holidays, culled from newspaper files. They date from the first Memorial Day in 1868 to the early days of World War II: 
“Let our mottoes be truth, justice and equality, and the heroes who died for us will never have been disgraced.” — Hon. John Peters, Bangor, May 30, 1868 
“Today we are one people, forgotten are all racial bitterness, partisan bigotry and sectional differences.” — The Rev. H.E. Dunnack, Orrington, May 30, 1917 
“To [democracy's] defenders, who are among its finest expressions, we must make no promises which we cannot or will not perform.” — Bangor Daily News editorial, May 30, 1941
It's hard to choose which of these I like the best.  I wish they were all true.  I wish I wasn't discouraged that we seem to have a hard time living up to these ideals.  The statement that lingers for me is "Let our mottoes be truth, justice and equality....but even more is so "the heroes who died for us will never have been disgraced".

 We still live in the most wonderful country in the world but it's more than troubling to see what's going on politically, and therefore in our everyday lives.  When you consider the sacrifices our service men & women and their families have made it feels like the least we can do is forget "all racial bitterness, partisan bigotry and sectional differences".


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