Cover Photo by Mark R. Day

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


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

Comments: Presentation of ROTC Awards to Bedford County Schools Program 8 April 2016

Comments for ROTC Awards Ceremony 8 April 2016


On behalf of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and in particular the Taylor-Wilson Camp of Lynchburg, Virginia I am presenting these awards to Cadet Skylar Stanforth and Cadet Danielle Moore, in recognition of their dedication and personal investment in the JROTC program.   I feel privileged to be in the company of these outstanding youth who represent the dedication to country and the promise of a bright future, we hope every student strives for.

SAR Medal

The Sons of the American Revolution Thomas Jefferson Chapter is pleased to present Cadet Captain Christopher Lacy with the SAR Outstanding JROTC award.  To be a recipient of this award the Cadet must demonstrate sustained superior performance in both JROTC and School activities.  I know he has worked many hours to achieve his success and once again, I find myself privileged to present this award to Cadet Captain Christopher Lacy.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Speech: Comments for the Taylor-Wilson Lincoln Birthday Dinner at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA 24502


Brother Mark R. Day Junior Vice Commander in Chief, SUVCW                                            
Comments for the Taylor-Wilson Lincoln Birthday Dinner at Lynchburg College,   2-13-2016

First of all the CinC, Eugene Mortorff, has asked that I extend his greetings to the Brothers of the Taylor-Wilson Camp 10 and the ladies of the Taylor-Wilson Auxiliary.  Gene regrets his inability to be here with us this evening and hopes that everyone enjoys the meal and the entertainment.  

We are here tonight celebrating the birth of President  Lincoln 207 years ago.   Yesterday is was my privilege to join with Brother Mortorff, Brother Martin, Sister Martin, and dozens of other members of the SUVCW and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion in attending the National Celebration of Lincoln's birth held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  This was my first time attending the event and as I sat only a few yards from the massive statue of President Lincoln I felt, that his eyes were fixed upon me.  I was drawn to return the gaze and soon understood, that  the Presidents face seemed fixed with a purpose.   I don't know if that fixed expression was the message intended by the sculptor, but it was the message sent to me and I could not take my eyes off his face.

As the ceremony proceeded there came a point when a group of students began to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic  and as I listened I closed my eyes, but Lincoln's face remained.  The people in the Memorial were silent as the singers voices resonated from the Marble walls, which bear Lincoln's own immortal words, to a people locked in the struggle of Civil War, and while the words of the song were familiar, in my mind it was as if I was hearing them for the first time, and I felt a sudden rush of emotions. 

I understood that the task, which Lincoln wanted to accomplish, remains unfinished.  I wondered if that resolute face on the statue was remembering the voice of Marian Anderson singing beneath it on the steps of the Memorial after she was denied the right to perform in the Constitution Hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  I wondered if the face of Lincoln had felt the pain of a people when Martin Luther King spoke of his dreams in 1963 and I wondered if the wind had carried the tensions of our recent experiences to brush against his beard.

I will leave you with a quote from a speech given on another cold and blustery day and a reminder:
 "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

We must Remember that, Abraham Lincoln nobly advanced the cause of Freedom, that he is among those honored dead who gave the last full measure, and that we need to take increased devotion to the cause of freedom,  so that he did not die in vain.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Poem: Where "Grace" Begins

"Grace"  is found in many acts

a handshake

a greeting

a smile

an embrace

However it always begins in the heart

for the heart is the home of "Grace"

the heart filled with love creates it

to share with the whole wide world.


Written by Mark R. Day 2-7-16.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 2-7-16, all rights reserved.