For some this weekend merely marks the beginning of summer and warm weather. It should be noted as a holiday to remember those who have sacrificed in order to perserve our freedoms.
I wanted to share with you a letter that was written by our 16th President during one of the most difficult times this country has ever faced. When I first heard it read, it struck me as a clear example of true meaning of Memorial Day. While the letter is not without controversy, I believe in it's authenticity.
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864
To Mrs. Bixby
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 beguille 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,
Say a prayer for all who have served and for those who have lost loved ones "upon the altar of freedom".