Probably the best Memorial Day speech was given by Abraham Lincoln at the battlefield at Gettysburg in 1863. It is an irony that Memorial Day would not be an official holiday until three years after Lincoln’s death, but the words he spoke on that gray November day are still unmatched. We cannot consecrate this day. Those heroes and heroines who gave their lives for this country have already consecrated this day. Our duty is to remember them and their sacrifice.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.