Not long ago I heard a young man ask why people still kept up Memorial Day, and it set me thinking of the answer. Not the answer that you and I should give to each other-not the expression of those feelings that, so long as you live, will make this day sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth–but an answer which should command the assent of those who do not share our memories, and in which we of the North and our brethren of the South could join in perfect accord.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
[An address delivered for Memorial Day, May 30, 1884, at Keene, NH, before John Sedgwick Post No. 4, Grand Army of the Republic.]