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"There can be no peace with the forces of evil. Peace comes only through the establishment of the supremacy of the forces of good.
That way lies through sacrifice...'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,'"
- stated President Calvin Coolidge is 1923 Memorial Address
Beginning in 1921, the sacrifice of America's military has been recognized by the President laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is inscribed:
HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD"
The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
With the number 21 being the highest salute, a sentry takes 21 steps, faces the tomb for 21 seconds, turns and pauses 21 seconds, then retraces his steps.
Memorial Day began at the end of the Civil War when Southern women scattered spring flowers on the graves of both the Northern and Southern soldiers.
In 1868, Memorial Day was set on MAY 30.
In 1968, it was moved to the LAST MONDAY IN MAY.
From the Spanish-American War, to World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, War against Islamic Terror, up through the present, all who gave their lives to preserve America's freedom are honored on Memorial Day.
On MAY 30, 1917, before the Grand Army of the Republic, President Woodrow Wilson stated at Arlington Cemetery:
"There are times when words seem empty and only actions seem great. Such a time has come, and in the providence of God, America will once more have an opportunity to show the world that she was born to serve mankind."
On MAY 30, 1919, in a Memorial Day Address given among the American graves in Suresnes Cemetery in France, President Wilson stated:
"It is delightful to learn from those who saw these men fight, and saw them waiting in the trenches for the summons for the fight, that they had a touch of the high spirit of religion....
We all believe, I hope, that the spirits of these men are not buried with their bones. Their spirits live!"
On MAY 30, 1923, in his Memorial Day Address at Arlington National Cemetery, President Warren G. Harding stated:
"I believe it a God-given duty to give of our influence to establish the ways of peace throughout the world....
In all the wars of all time the conscienceless profiteer has put the black blot of greed upon the righteous sacrifice and highly purposed conflict....
God grant that no conflict will come again, but if it does it shall be without profit to the noncombatant participants except as they share in the triumphs of the nation."
On MAY 30, 1925, at the Memorial Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, President Calvin Coolidge stated:
"The leaders of the Nation have been supported by a deep devotion to the essentials of freedom.
At the bottom of the national character has been a strain of religious earnestness and moral determination which has never failed to give color and quality to our institutions."
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On MAY 30, 1931, in an address at Valley Forge, President Herbert Hoover stated:
"If those few thousand men endured that long winter of privation and suffering...deprived of support save their own indomitable will, yet held their countrymen to the faith, and by that holding held fast the freedom of America, what right have we to be of little faith?"
On MAY 30, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated at Gettysburg:
"On these hills of Gettysburg two brave armies of Americans once met in contest.
Not far from here, in a valley likewise consecrated to American valor, a ragged Continental Army survived a bitter winter to keep alive the expiring hope of a new Nation...
Surely, all this is holy ground."
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