Today we take a moment to remember the men and women who have given the last full measure of their devotion in order to protect and defend our country. May they all rest in peace as we thank them for their sacrifice so that we may continue to live free and pursue our dreams. I would like to leave you with some words that I always think of on this day. They were written by Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine.
“In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field to ponder and dream; And lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls.”
October 3, 1889, Gettysburg, PA