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It has been 140 years since General John Logan first proclaimed a day to memorialize the tens of thousands of soldiers who died during the Civil War. On May 30, 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
As the years went by, Memorial Day evolved into a national holiday with plenty of travel, recreation and leisurely diversions. Foremost, though, it remains a day to remember America's war dead.
As the General's order read, "Let us . . . gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time." Furthermore, he wrote, "let us . . . renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us . . . the soldier's widow and orphan."
In recent years, Memorial Day has been commemorated in the midst of yet another war. It is sobering to realize that since last year's holiday more than 600 names have been added to the lists of those who have died in battle.
In keeping with tradition, KSL urges widespread recognition this Memorial Day of America's war dead, especially the most recent casualties. And as General Logan suggested, pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left behind.