It’s Memorial Day, and I want to add my tribute to those who paid the “last full measure of devotion.” Mostly I’ll be sharing tributes others have offered that I think are beautiful.
Let’s start with words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
…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.—Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
These words from Lincoln show up at the end of the three-minute video below, Hillsdale College’s Memorial Day tribute from 2016, which includes Ronald Reagan offering tribute, plus the song “Mansions of the Lord.”
Here are some of Reagan's words:
We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. We must realize that nor arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
The price for this freedom at times has been high. But we have never been unwilling to pay that price.
Those that say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.
President Reagan had a knack for saying the right thing. Here’s another tribute using his words. It comes from Champion Forest Baptist Church, which is in Northwest Houston, from 2014, which includes these words from Pres. Reagan:
The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers—grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died. And they gave up two lives: the one they were living, and the one they would have lived…. They gave up everything for our country, for us. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them, and what they did, and why they had to be brave for us.
One more. This links to a tweet from 2015 in which Chris Pratt is teaching his son the Pledge of Allegiance. It should make you smile.