An all services color guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Image via Flickr

– News and commentary about Quincy from Quincy Quarry News.

Quincy Quarry pays homage to Memorial Day

While Memorial Day has become a long holiday weekend better known for grilling and chilling, it is more.

Much more.

Sadly, many Americans do not realize that the arguable start of Memorial Day began in 1866 via the efforts of women living in Charleston, Georgia who strove in act of reconciliation to honor both Confederate and Union soldiers killed during the Civil War.

In turn, Memorial Day was then expanded in 1868 via a proclamation by the then-head of The Grand Army of the Republic.

Tragically, however, in recent years a zero sum game, we won/you lost mindset has transmogrified the original well-meaning attempt by women in Georgia to encourage reconciliation into something, well, at least divisive.

Along the way, people have thus also all but forgotten the conciliatory words of Abraham Lincoln, arguably the most tragic fatality of the Civil War even if he was assassinated shortly after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

Specifically, consider President Lincoln’s second inaugural address presented five weeks before the end of the Civil War and six weeks before his assassination.

In this arguably no less than second most important speech he made while president, Lincoln strove to remind …“the country that the ‘terrible’ violence of the Civil War had been preceded by two and a half centuries of the terrible violence of slavery.”

I failed …
A meme

Lincoln, among other points cogently made, so strove to underscore that it was “American slavery,” not Southern slavery.

As such, the nation as a whole was thus culpable for both slavery as well as the devastation of the Civil War.

At the same time, Lincoln also only properly called for both forgiveness as well as doing what could be done to take care of those whose lives had been forever shattered by the Civil War.

Sadly, in this uncivil times it would clearly as well as tragically appear that Lincoln’s clarion call has been all but disregarded:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

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