I know that I have posted this letter before, although I'm not sure when.
Regardless, it seems quite fitting on the Memorial Day immediately following an historic vote in Congress to fund our soldiers serving in Iraq we be reminded of what this holiday is about.
Although there is great debate concerning its authenticity, President Abraham Lincoln is said to have sent the following to a Mrs. Lydia Bixby on the unfortunate occasion of her having lost her fifth son during the Civil War.
With great respect, this goes out to all that have served in our armed forces, and those that have lost loved ones fighting for everything most Americans take for granted:
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
God Bless America.