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Cover them over, yes, cover them over,
Cover the hearts that have beaten so high.
Cover the thousands who sleep far away,
When the long years have rolled slowly away,
When the great world its last judgment awaits;
Blessings for garlands shall cover them over,
Memorial Day, with its sad and sacred memories, has again come. And as each new one makes its advent, we recall anew the great and tragic events that made the occasion for the day. Time in his rapid flight has borne us on till we are thirty-one years from the close of the great Civil War, in which thousands of lives were sacrificed and billions of treasure expendedo to save our country from dismemberment. The asperities and alienations engendered by the great struggle between freedom and slavery have largely passed away; and those who participated as soldiers on both sides, who are still living, fraternize with each other as brothers and fellow-citizens of one common country, on whose glorious banner is inscribed forever,
E pluribus unum. It is meet that those who sacrificed and died in the struggle, or who sacrificed and have since died, should be remembered and honored for the invaluable service they have rendered their country and humanity. Let the graves of the dead soldiers be decorated with flowers and wreaths of laurel, and the memory of their noble deeds revived anew in oratory and song.
THE WHITE BRIGADE 1
BY JOHN MACY
(On a recent Memorial Day, in New York City, while the veterans marched in the streets, processions of children, May parties postponed by a tardy spring, mingled with the crowds on the walks and in the parks.)
Between the cliffs of brick and stone,
Hoarse, like a river clamoring down
Of being echoes through the town.
There is no hush of holiday
Where old men march—and children play.
For, see, the desert springs to light,
Like fragile fairies roamed away
From the Century Magazine.
Up the stern streets, through park and square,
They seek the shaded plots of green, Dear vaporous angels of the air,
Sweet phantoms from a mythic scene.
It is not real. Such elfin youth
To blossom 'mid this barren stone ! The bleak, loud city is the truth.
The vision of a dream is flown.
And yet it stays. The people part
To let the white processions through. Rude, slandered walls, your hidden heart
Is pure, if such were born in you.
And now with slow tap to the drag
Of aged feet, the steady drum Sounds where a cross street cleaves the crag,
And down the park the old troops come.
Strange interweaving of old gray
With delicate child white, all designed On the tense fabric of to-day
To-day with elder days entwined.
These ancient remnants tottering by
Were comrades to a host of boys, Brave young battalions thrown to die,
Now white like those new-budded joys.
Slow-footed age, time-conquered, bowed,
We march as once you marched. Through you We new recruits, this heedless crowd,
Are veterans, are victors, too.
White flame of childhood, we would throw
Our lives to shield you from a breath.
Life blooms among the ranks of death.
HONOR OUR PATRIOT DEAD
Memorial Day is consecrated to the soldiers; it is dedicated to patriotism; around this sacred day cluster precious memories of our fallen brave. Over the silent chambers of our sleeping comrades we wreathe garlands of flowers-symbols of our love and gratitude. These graves are the Nation's shrine, the Mecca to which patriots journey to renew their devotion to the cause for which these patriots died. The fruits of their victories are a united country. This is a sacred heritage purchased by their valor and sealed by their blood. History is their encomium. Battlefields attest their courage.