Requiescat In Pace

If you have a Presidential Memorial Day quote you would like us all to see, please post it in the comments and I will find a photo to go with it and post it between now and Tuesday morning.  Tuesday is our review of Mountain & Sackett’s Spring/Summer ties, but until then have a safe weekend, and if you can, in a quiet moment, nod towards those who built what we have with their lives.

 

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” – John Kennedy

 

 

“What we do with this peace—whether we preserve it and defend it, or whether we lose it and let it slip away—will be the measure of our worthiness of the spirit and sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands who gave their lives in two World Wars, Korea, and in Vietnam.  This Memorial Day should remind us of the greatness that past generations of Americans achieved from Valley Forge to Vietnam, and it should inspire us with the determination to keep America great and free by keeping America safe and strong in our own time, a time of unique destiny and opportunity for our Nation.    Peace is the real and right memorial for those who have died in war.” – Richard Nixon

 

 

“I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.” – Benjamin Harrison

 

 

“I believe that soldiers will bear me out in saying that both come in time of battle. I take it that the moral courage comes in going into the battle, and the physical courage in staying in.”
“Therefore this peculiar thing comes about, that we can stand here and praise the memory of these soldiers in the interest of peace. They set us the example of self-sacrifice, which if followed in peace will make it unnecessary that men should follow war any more.”
“They do not need our praise. They do not need that our admiration should sustain them. There is no immortality that is safer than theirs. We come not for their sakes but for our own, in order that we may drink at the same springs of inspiration from which they themselves selves drank.” – Woodrow Wilson

 

Editor’s Note:  Richard Grenier, pictured below, is credited with the quote in his caption.  Grenier, buried in Arlington Cemetery, also studied at Harvard, served in the Navy, and was a correspondent for the New York Times.  Other attributions go to Winston Churchill and George Orwell, however, it has been presented that Grenier created the exact quote while discussing an idea presented by Orwell.

 

“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” – Richard Grenier

 

“God bless America and all the ships at sea.” – Uncle Joe (Army Air Corp – stationed in the Pacific, photo taken in Honolulu)

 

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
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler et al.

19 Comments on "Requiescat In Pace"

  1. Very nice.

  2. Charlottesville | May 27, 2022 at 3:20 pm | Reply

    I second Gempro. Very nice indeed. Just the right tone.

  3. Well, it’s not presidential but “we sleep soundly at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

    It has been a Memorial Day tradition in my family to tidy the unkept graves of fallen servicemen and women.

  4. Great post, thanks JB. 🇺🇸

  5. Randy Ventgen | May 28, 2022 at 12:32 am | Reply

    Peace is in fact bought.

  6. Al Aniskiewicz | May 28, 2022 at 11:37 am | Reply

    Thanks JB for a fitting reminder.
    Invoking my WW-II army vet Uncle Joe – “God bless America and all the ships at sea”

  7. Good to see RMN, a 20 year man, in his garrison cap.

  8. Al Aniskiewicz | May 28, 2022 at 2:51 pm | Reply

    John,
    Have a fine picture of Uncle Joe in uniform when he was stationed in the Pacific. How can I get it to you? Email?
    Al

  9. A most fitting devotional to those who died defending our liberty. Well done, JB.

  10. Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Mrs. Bixby

    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

    Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler et al.

  11. JB,
    Thank you.

    “If you are able, save them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.
    Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
    though you may or may not have always.
    Take what they have left and what they have taught you
    with their dying and keep it with your own.
    And in that time when men decide and feel safe
    to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace
    those gentle heroes you left behind.”
    Major Michael Davis O’Donnell, US Army
    1 January 1970
    Dak To, Vietnam

    Major O’Donnell was killed 3 months later in Cambodia on 24 March 1970.
    He was a graduate of VMI & is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
    Major O’Donnell was 24 years old.

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