General John A. Logan had risen to the rank of Union Army general and commander of volunteer forces during the Civil War. As head of the post-war veteran’s organization the Grand Army of the Republic, he issued General Orders No. 11, establishing May 30 as “Decoration Day” to honor the Civil War dead. This later became a national holiday called Memorial Day.
On Memorial Day we remember those who fought for our country, those who were injured and those who died in defense of our cause. We all greatly honor their service, bravery and dedication to duty. Perhaps the way we can best honor their memory is to ensure that no others, in service of their country, are sent into harms way unless absolutely necessary.