On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!
~Thomas William Parsons
Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.
With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green.
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Green sods are all their monuments; and yet it tells
A nobler history than pillared piles,
Or the eternal pyramids.
~James Gates Percival
Is't death to fall for Freedom's right?
He's dead alone who lacks her light!
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal.
~From a headstone in Ireland
They fell, but o'er their glorious grave
Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.
~Francis Marion Crawford
The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves a thousand living men.
~Minot J. Savage
But the freedom that they fought for,
and the country grand they wrought for,
Is their monument to-day, and for aye.
~Thomas Dunn English
And they who for their country die
shall fill an honored grave,
for glory lights the soldier's tomb,
and beauty weeps the brave.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.
The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.
Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays.... The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms.
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
All we have of freedom, all we use or know
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899
But fame is theirs - and future days
On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -
"These for their country fought and bled."
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.
~Henry Ward Beecher
These martyrs of patriotism gave their lives for an idea.
They saw their injured country's woe;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear, - but left the shield.
For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.
Ah! never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of her brave -
~William Cullen Bryant
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
Fold him in his country's stars.
Roll the drum and fire the volley!
What to him are all our wars,
What but death bemocking folly?
~George Henry Boker
The hero dead cannot expire:
The dead still play their part.
We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.
~Francis A. Walker