Excerpt from Memorial Day, May Thirtieth, 1910
Not to glorify war nor the heroes of war was Memorial Day set apart. It was rather to impress upon us and our children the terrible price which our permanent peace has cost, and to keep constantly before us the picture of havoc and sacrifice wrought by an appeal to arms. But, while our dread and hatred of war should increase with every telling of the story which the day recalls, its proper observance should also in crease our respect and devotion for these peace-loving men and women who, with great reluctance, dared to choose the strife of war rather than 'the repose of dishonor; who hated war not less than we and whose love 'for peace was none the less, but who hated wrong and national disgrace 'more than they hated war, and who loved right and national honor -more than an unstable and dishonorable peace. Therefore let no one think that these soldiers whose memory we honor lusted for the blood s-of their fellow men or took comfort in the plunder of homes and the destruction of cities. They, far more vividly than we, saw the pity and the agony of it all, and, on battle - field and camping ground, longed anxiously for the dawn of peace.
Thus, it is, that war may become its own worst enemy and its great soldiers our best heralds of peace. It was Ulysses S. Grant, the great soldier of the greatest war of all times, who wrote, Let us have peace. 'was this a chance sentence that dropped from his pen? Did the thought first occur to him after all opportunities for fighting were over? N o. It was his firm conviction, his heartfelt desire, born with him into the world, deepened by the dread and anxiety of every battle, burned into his soul by the fire of conﬂict and slaughter. We are, therefore, most fortunate that in honoring him as a great soldier, we are also honoring him as a great prophet of peace. And in thus showing our respect for our great soldier and commander, we shall also show our respect to all those brave men whose courage and devotion made the name of Grant worthy of our honor.
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