Monuments, Memorials, Statues

Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice

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Arlington National Cemetery by Kevin Wolf

 

President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address five years before Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was originally known, was established. But there may not be a more powerful ode to those who gave their lives in combat than the 272 words President Lincoln uttered in 1863 at the Gettysburg battlefield. On this Memorial Day, it’s worth reading those words again:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. 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.”

Featured image, Arlington National Cemetery, by Kevin Wolf is part of the DC Focused flickr pool. More photos from the pool below.

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They Made the Ultimate Sacrifice to Protect Our Future by Geoff Livingston

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Memorial Day 2015 by pablo.raw

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Flags In by Geoff Livingston

Life in metro Washington, D.C. as chronicled by the area's photographers.