Friday, April 11, 2014

Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman, 50th Oakwood Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony May 10, 1916

Via Virginia Flaggers

*"We are wont to make of history a chronicle of obvious effect and not of vital cause. We write of battles fought and not battles forced. We tell the story of our great sires' deeds and leave untold the reasons for their acts. We measure in the common scales success by what we see achieved and not by what right though unachieved. We think a cause lost with a field and see no victor but a Grant at every Appomattox.*

* From such a narrow view as this, these bones cry out. The men interred about us here had died in vain if death had been defeat. They live because defeat meant victory!*

* What were those ideals consecrated at First Manassas, exalted at Chancellorsville, sealed and accepted at Appomattox? These ancient oaks whisper them; these gray coats attest them; these women who for fifty years have kept this sacred day bear witness to them; these children's faces unwittingly reflect them:*

* That government is the choice of the governed, a sacred right that only tyranny can overrule; That it is for the governed to change their government when its powers are misused; That those who give may take again and shape to better use the creature of their hands; That in defense of freedom, self may not be reckoned or sacrifice be counted; That duty to righteous principle is duty to God!*


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