I bring greetings from the National Commander-in-Chief Waldron Kintzing Post II and the entire membership of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
We are here today to fulfill our obligation to the men who fell in the great American struggle, we call the Civil War. It is our duty and our privilege to devote ourselves to preserving the memory of their sacrifice regardless of their uniform, their race, or their motivations. For each of them was a husband, a father, or a son to a family which loved them and mourned their loss.
At this very moment one hundred and fifty years ago the men of two great armies were engaged in the final act of the Civil War in Virginia. In the small village of Appomattox Court House. As the "'Boys in Blue" stood at shoulder arms along the roadside and the long line of grey clad veterans stacked their arms before marching away to an uncertain future, I am confident that, all their thoughts were filled with memories of lost friends and family who had once marched among them. In the years following the war songs such as the "Vacant Chair and "Auld Lang Syne" were song by veterans from both sides and monuments were placed on the sacred grounds of Gettysburg, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, and Antietam as the veterans did their best to fulfill Abraham Lincoln's words that, the world would never forget those who had given the "Last Full Measure of Devotion."
Today it is our turn educate our fellow citizens and to promote the remembrance of the dead both Blue and Grey who are each Hero's to their families. May these trees, which were planted today become a living memorial to those we honor, and may it come to pass that the families of these men find their way to this place and sit beneath the branches; so that they may find both a connection and a sense of peace with the spirits of their ancestors.
Thank you for the honor of speaking at this very special ceremony. May God bless the United States and grant his grace and peace to those we seek to honor today.
Speech written and presented by Mark R. Day 4/12/15. Copyright by Mark R. Day 4/12/15, all rights reserved
"These remarks were written on Sunday morning 4-12-15 as, I ate breakfast at the McDonalds in Lovingston, VA. Having participated in the surrender ceremonies at Appomattox Court House on Friday and Saturday, I found myself drawing upon that experience.