"Once each May, amid the quiet hills and rolling lanes and breeze-brushed trees of Arlington National Cemetery, far above the majestic Potomac and the monuments and memorials of our Nation's Capital just beyond, the graves of America's military dead are decorated with the beautiful flag that in life these brave souls followed and loved. This scene is repeated across our land and around the world, wherever our defenders rest.
"Let us hold it our sacred duty and
our inestimable privilege on this day to decorate these graves
ourselves -- with a fervent prayer and a pledge of true allegiance to
the cause of liberty, peace, and country for which America's own have
ever served and sacrificed.
"... Our pledge and our
prayer this day are those of free men and free women who know that all
we hold dear must constantly be built up, fostered, revered and guarded
vigilantly from those in every age who seek its destruction. We know, as
have our Nation's defenders down through the years, that there can
never be peace without its essential elements of liberty, justice and
independence. Those true and only building blocks of peace were the lone
and lasting cause and hope and prayer that lighted the way of those
whom we honor and remember this Memorial Day.
faith with our hallowed dead, let us be sure, and very sure, today and
every day of our lives, that we keep their cause, their hope, their
prayer, forever our country's own."
~~ Ronald W. Reagan, 40th President of the United States