Monday, May 30, 2011

memorial day

Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous 'Gettysburg Address' at the dedication of this cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. An association formed immediately after the Civil War battle in Gettysburg raised the money to bury the 3,555 dead, a fraction of the 51,112 people who were killed, injured, captured, or went missing in the battle, which raged from July 1 to 3, 1863 and which put an end to the Confederate attempt to carry the war north.

Such battlegrounds inevitably bring to mind the Basho ku: "Summer grasses--All that remains of warriors' dreams." Like young 'warriors' all over the world, most of those buried here had barely begun to dream.

Memorial Day, celebrated today, used to be Decoration Day. It has its roots in decorating the graves of Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. This Civil War stamp is from a recent series put out by US Post. (The other stamp is part of a colorful set honoring Latin music.)