Memorial Day was proclaimed May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, then the Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. His general Order #11 included these words:
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan..."
Yesterday, I had the privilege of providing the invocation for the Memorial Day Remembrance for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was a beautiful day, with ceremony outside in full view of all around. I shared these words with those who gathered to honor those who have served:
as we gather together today in this continuing time of struggle and conflict
to remember all who served and sacrificed that our nation might always be free, grant that this time will be a time of remembrance and reflection
grant that we may be inspired to such service
may we recall their families who remain behind
may we remember the wounded and the healing.
grant that we never forget their loved ones who grieve.
grant us victory, may freedom endure,
and may our children and our children’s children know peace.