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142 years later, keeping the light Memorial Day, 2010

The Civil War ended in 1865, and on May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan of the Union Army issued the following:

General Order No. 11
Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic Washington, D.C.,
May 5, 1868
Decoration Day

“The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

The previous year, a Civil War hymn entitled Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping was dedicated “To the Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Dead.”

Words by G.W.R., Music by Mrs. L. Nella Sweet

Kneel where our loves are sleeping, Dear ones days gone by,
Here we bow in holy reverence, Our bosoms heave the heartfelt sigh.
They fell like brave men, true as steel, And pour’d their blood like rain,
We feel we owe them all we have, And can but weep and kneel again.

Kneel where our loves are sleeping, They lost but still were good and true,
Our fathers, brothers fell still fighting, We weep, ‘tis all that we can do.

Here we find our noble dead, Their spirits soar’d to him above,
Rest they now about his throne, For God is mercy, God is love.
Then let us pray that we may live, As pure and good as they have been,
That dying we may ask of him, To open the gate and let us in.

Kneel where our loves are sleeping, They lost but still were good and true,
Our fathers, brothers fell still fighting, We weep, ‘tis all that we can do."

General Logan’s Order affirmed, “If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.”

May we keep the light with a warm heart, a keen eye and diligent hand in honor of those who died in service to our country this Memorial Day.


  • Bernie 4 years ago

    What a great historical article and U-tube tribute to our fallen veterans. May we all take time to honor them this memorial weekend.

  • Denise Miller Holmes 4 years ago

    Wow. Nice article Terri. Love the history.
    Denver Christians Perspectives Examiner



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