Cover Photo by Mark R. Day

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Comments for Lexington park Medal of Honor Ceremony 9/30/2017


Comments for Lexington park Medal of Honor Ceremony 9/30/2017

Only a few short years ago, I was privileged to be part of the ceremonial guard for the unveiling of this magnificent statuary tribute to the three medal of honor awardees; Sgt. Harris, Pvt. Barnes, and Quartermaster Hayden, who’s service we are here to remember today and all the men of St. Mary’s County who placed their lives on the line to preserve the Union and free a people from bondage.

In our current era of history, when symbols have become front page news, this monument takes on even more importance.  A primary goal of the Sons of Union Veterans is the remembrance of men like those named on this monument.  We seek to, as we say, keep green the memory of the sacrifices made by both the soldier and his family to ensure that President Lincoln’s bold vision of emancipation and his pledge that “Government of the People, for the people, and by the people should not perish from the Earth” would prevail.

It was the men, whose names appear in such bold relief upon this monument, and many thousands of others who joined the United States Colored Troops, that took up the great work of fulfilling Lincoln’s call to complete the rebirth of our nation under the principles originally stated in Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.   They were willing to commit their lives to a greater cause.  For they not only fought to preserve the Union and establish freedom in the United States; they fought to achieve respect and equality for an entire race of human being who had for too long lived under the shadow of oppression and servitude.

Insert Adlib – A previous speaker had noticed that the park was full of young men playing organized football as their parents watched from bleachers overlooking the fields.   I addressed those attending the Medal of Honor ceremony thusly “I would ask each of you, why aren’t those young men and their parents here with us?   Don’t they know how important remembering those who gave so much to ensure that they have the freedom they are enjoying?”   Let me say this.  I find no fault in the young men or their parents.  The fault lies in the lack of knowledge they have about the men named on this monument and that has led to their perceived indifference.  My mother once told me that if you are remembered you never die but if your name becomes lost to history and meaningless you truly die forever.   Will that be the fate of the names on this monument?  Only time will tell, but I pray it will not be so.

So, here we are.   We have come here to reaffirm these men and remember their names in a society that is less and less aware of them.  To us falls the obligation to ensure that these men do not die forever, that they are remembered by future generations for their dedication to the cause of freedom, and honored for their valor.   We, the living descendants and recipients of the freedoms and privileges they struggled to obtain; must fulfill our obligation to all the men who Lincoln said, “Gave the last full measure of devotion.”   We must hold ourselves accountable for preserving their memory and commit our every energy to educate our youth and perpetuate a sense of duty within society to never forget those of the past and their efforts to bequeath us the great nation we live in today.



Speech written and presented by Mark R. Day, September 30th 2017 at the 2nd Annual Medal of Honor Ceremony held by the Sgt. James H. Harris Camp #38 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Lexington Park, Maryland.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 9/30/2017, all rights reserved

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Welcoming remarks as MC of the Lincoln Death Day Luncheon

Brothers and Sisters,

I wish to welcome you to the Lincoln Death Day Luncheon.  It is my privilege and pleasure to be the Master of Ceremonies for this event as well as the earlier ceremonies at the Tomb.  I hope that each of you are enjoying the beautiful day that God has granted us and it is my heartfelt wish, that each of you have been able to connect with old friends or discover new friends with whom you will now share this meal.  Let this be a special time filled with the conversations and fond remembrances, which will strengthen the bonds of Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty that keep us steadfast in fulfilling our purposes as the Allied Orders and entreat us to act in harmony and with respect for each other.   For only in that manner can we ever hope to inculcate all citizens with a love for those who gave the last full measure of devotion to preserve this country, and more especially honor the memory of our beloved President Lincoln, whom we are gathered to honor.

Written and presented by Mark R. Day 4/15/17.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 4/15/17, all rights reserved.

Welcoming Remarks as MC for the Lincoln Death Day Ceremonies in Springfied, Ill. 4/15/17

Good morning!   Welcome to the annual Lincoln Death Day Ceremony.   I am Mark Day, SVCinC of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and today's Master of Ceremonies.  It is very fitting, that we gather here this morning for it was one hundred and fifty two years ago, this very day, that our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, succumbed to his assassins bullet and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton uttered that now famous statement "Now he belongs to the ages."  We now stand here, in front of Lincoln's final resting place as witnesses to the power and permanence of Stanton's words.    It is our duty and responsibility to inculcate our fellow citizens with the same sense of duty we carry within our hearts and to ensure the continuity of this tradition which honors the memory of Abraham Lincoln.  Let us never loose sight of that mission. 


Remarks Written by and presented by Mark R. Day 4/15/17.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 4/15/17, all rights reserved.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Speech: Short Remarks given at Mount Hope Cemetery in Dahlonega, GA

Short Remarks given at Mount Hope Cemetery in Dahlonega, GA on the occasion of a joint SUVCW and SCV grave marker rededication ceremony 9/10/16


The ceremony was organized and conducted by the Kennesaw Mountain Camp Sons of Union Veterans and Camp #1860 Blue Ridge Rifles Sons Confederate Veterans


Brothers of the Department of Georgia and South Carolina, members of Camp 1860 the Blue Ridge Rifles, Sisters of the Allied Orders, Families and Friends

Good Morning!  Isn’t this a gorgeous day, that God has blessed us with for our ceremonies.

We have gathered here to celebrate the lives of two American soldiers; Cpl. Isaac G. Rucker (USCT) and Capt. Augustus F. Boyd (CSA).

While these two men wore different uniforms, they are both American soldiers and both were held in great respect  by their birthplace for they are both listed among the noble dead of Dahlonega.  A fact, which we and all Americans should never lose sight of.

It is most fitting that we have assembled members from both the Allied Orders and the SCV to conduct a joint ceremony of rededication and remembrance.  This joint event acts as a reminder, that all the men who fought the Civil War were American soldiers who, after the great and terrible struggle of war, were reconciled and reunited as one nation

Through this ceremony we are demonstrating, that though enemies in battle these two soldiers offer us a chance to contemplate the values of duty and devotion they held in common. 

It is for us to rededicate ourselves to the task of finding ways to honor all our soldiers without malice. We must be dedicated to the act of honoring the dead from both sides; for no American soldier should ever be forgotten.   


Written and presented by Mark R. Day 9/10/16.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 9/10/16 all rights reserved

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Quote:

The dream of every soul is to find love and success and the uniqueness of our human heart is often revealed by the passion we pour into our relationships.  Thus each life is made rich and the dream is fulfilled.



Mark R. Day, 5/21/2016, copyright by Mark R. Day 5/21/2016, all rights reserved

Speech: Address for Lincoln-Cushing Camp Memorial Day Ceremony Old Amphitheater Arlington National Cemetery May 30, 2016



     On May 30th 1868, General James A. Garfield, the future 20th President of the United States, stood at this very lectern and presented the featured oration for the Dedication of this beautiful Amphitheater.  Now the privilege of standing here is mine and we are gathered here to honor the memory all those who rest around us.
     For the past one hundred and forty-eight years this amphitheater has been a symbol of the fulfillment of the Grand Army of the Republics promise to keep green the memory of the Boys in Blue 1861-1865.  Within the columns this amphitheater we have faithfully assembled to perform our solemn duty to remember.  We are summoned as were our forefathers to return to this amphitheater, which marks for us, the heart of this hallowed ground we call Arlington National Cemetery.
     Many Men and Women have come to this place, first as the Grand Army of the Republic and later as the Allied Orders.  Over the years the names, of those standing on this dais, have changed but the purpose has always remained the same.  We come to pay homage to the brave men who sleep upon these rolling hills, embraced in solemnity, peace, and reverence. 
     We also come in part to follow General John A. Logan’s order # 11, which established our tradition of remembrance.  This historic order was the clarion call for a day to be set aside for the purpose of remembrance and it created a compact between the living and the dead that must be reaffirmed by every generation of Americans.
     Much has occurred in the last one hundred forty-eight years.  America has often be forced to deal with challenges, but through it all we have always kept faith with those who perished in the defense of our nation.  We have sent our young men and women, of every race and creed, into conflicts far from home and family to bring hope, equality, and freedom to the oppressed in every corner of this world.
All those years ago General Logan did not know what the future would hold for America but he hoped that Americans would never lose sight of the sacrifice, which had been made to preserve our Union.  I find it only fitting for us to also remember those soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines, and coast guardsmen who’s remains are forever joined, here in this place, with those of the Civil War dead.  Together they form a Legion of Heroes to whom we owe an incredible debt for every breath of air and every blessing of freedom we enjoy.
     In a few minutes we will leave this amphitheater and travel the short distance to the final resting place of thousands of American Civil War unknown dead.  We will place wreaths, render honors, and play taps.  Each of these elements are an essential aspect of our ceremonial act of remembrance.   However, for me it is my personal act of remembrance that matters most.  It is taking time to separate ourselves from the myriad pursuits and problems of daily life to participate in this ceremony that truly counts.
    The old veterans used the phrase “Lest We Forget” as their motto when planning and holding their ceremonies of remembrance.  I believe that phrase contains the essential truth of why we are here today.  In the end it is not a date on a calendar or a specific place that defines Memorial Day; rather it is our individual and corporate dedication to the act of remembrance that has meaning and the ability to draw us together as a people.
    Yes, remembrance is a sacred duty each American must share in but we, the Allied Orders, have an even greater responsibility as leaders in the our communities and the nation as a whole when it comes to emphasizing and committing ourselves to honoring and remembering the fallen.   We must proclaim the motto “Lest we Forget” with every ounce of passion and patriotism we possess.
I ask you now here in this place of honor and respect to join with me in pledging and reaffirming our commitment by saying “We will Never Forget”  “I will Never Forget”
     I thank you for the honor of allowing me to speak to you today, m May the memory of our fallen brothers and sisters be ever with you, and may God grant his grace on the United States of America


Written and presented by Mark R. Day 5/21/2016.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 5/21/2016, all rights reserved.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Speech: To Antietam Camp 2 at their MOH Ceremony, Hessian Barracks, Frederick, Maryland 3/26/2016

Comments for MOH Ceremony, Hessian Barracks, Frederick, Maryland 3/26/2016

Good Morning
What a pleasure it is for me to be here representing Eugene Mortdorf, the Commander in Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, as we honor Mary Walker the only woman, and one of only eight civilians, to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
My thanks and my admiration go to the Antietam Camp for selecting this incredible woman as their annual honoree.  That Mary walker was in the Avant-Guard of those who struggled for women’s rights and opportunity is clearly evident, but her service during the Civil War and her commitment to the Union Soldiers was perhaps her greatest accomplishment.  
Mary Walker’s MOH was recommended by none less than Generals William T. Sherman and George H. Thomas, two men who knew the meaning of the word Valor, and President Andrew Johnson signed the citation shortly after the war.   However, Mary Walker would find that serving her nation and suffering capture and imprisonment by the Confederacy to receive the award was far easier than the fight she would face to keep it. 
Yes, Mary Walker is due our respect and our attention on this Medal of Honor Weekend and once again I thank the Brothers of the Antietam Camp, who I have come to respect and appreciate for their efforts to hold this ceremony year after year in an effort to inspire and educate our nation’s citizens.  May such ceremonies continue to set an example of patriotism and civic responsibility for the Sons of Union Veterans as an organization and all those who share its goals?

Thank you for your attention and May God bless all America’s heroes and heroines past and present