|American Minute with Bill Federer‘There can be no peace with the forces of evil. Peace comes only through the establishment of the supremacy of the forces of good.’- Coolidge
Southern women scattered spring flowers on graves of both northern Union and southern Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in which over a half-million died.Many places claimed to have held the original Memorial Day, such as Warrenton, Virginia; Columbus, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania; and Waterloo, New York.One such place was Charleston, South Carolina, where a mass grave was uncovered of 257 Union soldiers who had died in a prison camp.On May 1, 1865, former slaves organized a parade, led by 2,800 singing Black children, and reburied the soldiers with honor in gratitude for their freedom.
In 1868, General John A. Logan, commander of the Civil War veterans’ organization ‘The Grand Army of the Republic’, called for a Decoration Day to be observed annually on May 30.
President James Garfield’s only executive order was in 1881 where he gave government workers May 30 off so they could decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War.
Memorial Day grew to honor all who gave their lives defending America’s freedom, including those from the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, the War against Islamic Terror, and up to current conflicts.
In 1968, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May.
After World War I, in 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
Inscribed on the Tomb is the phrase:
“HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.”
Since 1921, it has been the tradition for Presidents to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The number 21 being the highest salute, the sentry takes 21 steps, faces the tomb for 21 seconds, turns and pauses 21 seconds, then retraces his steps.
In 1958, President Eisenhower placed soldiers in the tomb from WWII and the Korean War.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan placed a soldier from the Vietnam War in the tomb.
DNA test later identified him as pilot Michael Blassie, a graduate of St. Louis University High School, 1966 and the U.S. Air Force Academy, 1970, whose A-37B Dragonfly was shot down near An Loc, South Vietnam.
In 1998, Michael Blassie was reburied at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
In his 1923 Memorial Address, President Calvin Coolidge stated:
“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.'”
Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army, wrote the poem:
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
It is the Soldier, not the poet
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
It is the Soldier, not the politician
A veteran of the Civil War was a soldier of Presbyterian Scots-Irish descent named Marion Mitchell Morrison.
His grandson of the same name, Marion Mitchell Morrison, born MAY 26, 1907, became an Academy award winning actor known for portraying the patriotic courage of soldiers in war films.
Raoul Walsh, director of film The Big Trail (1930), first suggested his screen name be “Anthony Wayne” after Revolutionary War general “Mad Anthony” Wayne, but settled upon “John Wayne”.
John Wayne had played football for U.S.C. and worked behind-the-scenes at Fox Studios.
His career took off when director John Ford cast him in epic western films such as: Fort Apache (1948); She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949); and Rio Grande (1950).
John Wayne became an icon of the U.S. Armed Forces for depicting the strength and sacrifice of American military personnel during World War II, Korea and Vietnam:
The Flying Tigers (1942);
These films had the international effect of publicizing America’s military might and moral values, as demonstrated in 1975, when Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States and asked to meet John Wayne who symbolically represented his country’s former enemy.
In 1998, the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation honored John Wayne with the Naval Heritage Award for his support of the U S Navy and military.
A Harris Poll, January 2011, ranked John Wayne third among America’s favorite film stars.
On MAY 26, 1979, the U.S. Congress awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal and President Jimmy Carter, who later awarded John Wayne the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously, stated:
“I have today approved…a specially struck gold medal to John Wayne.
For nearly half a century, the Duke has symbolized the American ideals of integrity, courage, patriotism, and strength and has represented to the world many of the deepest values that this Nation respects.”
In 1979, California’s Orange County airport was named John Wayne Airport.
Ronald Reagan said November 5, 1984:
“I noted the news coverage about the death of my friend, John Wayne. One headline read ‘The Last American Hero.’…
No one would be angrier than Duke Wayne at the suggestion that he was America’s last hero.
Just before he died, John Wayne said in his unforgettable way, ‘Just give the American people a good cause, and there’s nothing they can’t lick.'”
John Wayne stated in a 1971 interview:
In his album, America-Why I Love Her, 1977, John Wayne stated:
“Face the Flag, son, and face reality.
Our strengths and our freedoms are based in unity.
The flag is but a symbol, son, of the world’s greatest nation,
And as long as it keeps flying, there’s cause for celebration.
So do what you’ve got to do, but always keep in mind,
A lot of people believe in peace…but there are the other kind.
If we want to keep these freedoms, we may have to fight again.
God forbid, but if we do, let’s always fight to win,
For the fate of a loser is futile and it’s bare:
No love, no peace…just misery and despair.
Face the Flag, son…and thank God it’s still there.”
For God’s Glory Alone Ministries thanks Bill Federer and www.AmericanMinute.com