To the editor:
“The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purposes of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country...”
This was the beginning of General Order No. 11, issued by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 30, 1868, which is recognized as the first Memorial Day.
On May 27, 2013, the citizens of Gloucester will again gather to pay tribute to those who have fallen. It will be a somber time, a time to grieve, and a time to remember.
Unlike Veterans Day, where we honor those living men and women who have served in the military, on Memorial Day we honor those men and woman in the military who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of their country. These are the men and women who will never come home to hold their loved ones in the arms or to again see their sons and daughters and marvel how they grew while they were away answering the clarion call of their country.
This is what we must remember on this day. As we honor those who have fallen, we must always remember why they fell. We must remember the freedoms that those men and women sacrificed so much for. This should also be a day for reflection and remembrance.
On Memorial Day, we reflect upon the more that one-half million men and women who have perished in the defense of their country since the end of World War II.
This year is also a significant milestone as it is the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War — a war that saw six young men from Gloucester embark upon a journey in the defense of this country from which they never returned. They died so that we could be free.