Memorial Day Remembrance
By Dick Perue
From the May 17, 1917 issue of the Powell Leader.
All Memorial Days are significant. They are commemorations of great events, great institutions or great personalities. Memorial Day with us stands for the perpetual recognition of a slavery emancipated, of a warfare waged and a victory won and the commemoration of wonderful heroism and great sacrifice. As we contemplate the events which lie behind Memorial Day, all the services of the week may well be considered sacred. We pause in the midst of the helter-skelter, rush and fuss of our American life to honor those who were willing to fight for principle and sacrifice themselves for the land they loved.
May 30, 1918
Thus reads an article in the May 30, 1918 issue of The Rawlins Republican.
At first, Memorial Day was a day of memories; the graves of the brave men who gave their lives in the Civil War were decorated with flowers; a sign grateful people had not forgotten the supreme sacrifice these men made.
Then the day gradually became a popular holiday; games, sports, picnics, were more important than heroic memories; the original idea of the day was in danger of being lost.
Now, we have come to a time when Memorial Day can be, and should be, consecrated anew; when we may look back with reverence upon the victorious past and forward with courage and determination to a victorious future.
Let us make the day a time when we renew our declarations of loyalty to the great cause of which our country has always been the foremost champion, the cause of Human Liberty.
We shall do our daily work, whatever it may be, with a better spirit, if we keep this idea before us.
So editorial states in the May 22, 1905 issue of The Burlington Post.
Of all the days set apart for public observance, none should be honored with greater respect than Memorial Day, commemorating as it does the heroic deeds of the men who cheerfully laid down their lives in defense of their country. Christmas and New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July and other public holidays, have more or less degenerated from their significance; these days have been turned into occasions of riotous horseracing and ragtime dancing, with little or no thought of the events the days were intended to commemorate.
Memorial Day can only degenerate from the lack of observance – the forms cannot change, nor can they be perverted. Everywhere on that day the aged and fast disappearing remnant of a once mighty and invincible host meets around the graves of those who have gone before and offer respectful homage to the nation’s defenders now on the other side of the great beyond. It is a beautiful custom, a touching service and one our children should be taught to continue with reverence so long as the nation stands.