Memorial Day 2019

By  | May 28, 2019 | Filed under: News

FLORENCE – On Monday a few hundred people gathered at the Florence / Lauderdale Veterans’ Memorial for the annual Memorial Day Ceremony. They had come together to remember the local cadre’ of honored dead whose collective ultimate sacrifices have, for over 250 years, secured and preserved our Nation. At the gathering of remembrance, beforehand it was a scene of smiles and of glad-handing friends and colleagues. But when 10 o’clock rolled around, the gathering settled down to begin, along with several World War II Service Members, a quiet and dignified meeting. A reflection, if you will, upon those who made the ultimate sacrifice, enabling their prodigy to enjoy the freedom and joys of their own lives, which on a daily basis seems to have nothing at all to do with the wars that made Americans free from tyranny.

There is a famous letter from President Abraham Lincoln, that illustrates in sharp relief, the sacrifices,, not only of the war-fighter, but of their families as well. Near the end of The Civil War, written in 1865 to a mother in Boston… Mrs. Bixby, the words resonate still today.

“Executive Mansion
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

 A. Lincoln”

We thank all who have served our Nation through the Armed Forces. A special debt of gratitude, which can never be repaid, is owed to the hundreds of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from North Alabama our home who died for us. And it can never be repaid. But perhaps their sacrifice can grow in meaning as long as we remember that who we are as a people, and the joys and privileges we enjoy as Americans are, in a very large part, the result of what these men and women did on the Fields of Battle throughout the world.

The Quad Cities Daily was on hand in Florence yesterday, to capture the ceremony in EVENT PHOTOS. We present them here.

Photos by Sheri and Steve Wiggins. All rights reserved.

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