Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Decoration Day

The Marietta Register, May 27, 1869

By Lieut. Col. John J. Nevin

"The 30th of May is hereby designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers the graves of our comrades who died in defence of their country, with the hope that it will be observed from year to year by all the people." - Extract from Gen. Logan's Order No. 11, Headquarters G.A.R., May 5, 1868.


 Let us gather to the ground,
Our soldiers' graves around,
And strew each lonely mound
With the choicest flowers of spring;
And the spirits of the brave,
O'er the land they died to save,
Shall keep watch while we these offerings bring,
And when we forget their valor
Gave our liberty new birth,
May their ungrateful country
Perish from the face of earth.


We'll gather to the ground,
Our soldiers graves around,
And deck each lonely mound
With the fairest flower o'er,
And the land they died to save
Still shall honor thus her brave,
And forget them never more.


Oh then, on bended knee,
Let us mingle silently
The pale anemone
And the dark blue violet,
And the fragrant flow'rs of May,
With forget-me-nots and bay,
And garlands of spring beauties wet;
And their pure breath shall ascend,
Like a prayer, like a prayer,
That our land may find hearts as true,
As those that moulder there.


And year by year we'll come,
When the flowers are in bloom,
And we'll deck each hero's tomb
On this "Decoration Day";
Till all the South and North
Shall link it with the Fourth,
Twin holidays and holy days for aye;
Yes the Fourth and this new May day
Through all the coming years;
That we'll keep with loyal glee,
But this with patriot tears.

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