Monday, May 30, 2022

This Poor Clay

We are met today to pay the impersonal tribute.  The name of him whose body lies before us took flight with his imperishable soul.  We know not whence he came, but only that his death marks him with the everlasting glory of an American dying for his country. ...

Standing today on hallowed ground, conscious that all America has halted to share in the tribute of heart and mind and soul to this fellow American, and knowing that the world is noting this expression of the Republic's mindfulness, it is fitting to say that his sacrifice, and that of the millions dead, shall not be in vain.  There must be, there shall be, the commanding voice of a conscious civilization against armed warfare.

As we return this poor clay to its mother soil, garlanded by love and covered with the decorations that only nations can bestow, I can sense the prayers of our people, of all peoples, that this Armistice Day shall mark the beginning of a new and lasting era of peace on earth, good will among men.

-- Warren G. Harding (1865 - 1923), 29th President of the United States: 1921 - 1923, Address at the Burial of an Unknown American Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, 11 November 1921

No comments: