This editorial appears in the June 4, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Meaning of Memorial Day
May 31—The origins of the United States observing Memorial Day probably lie in an act to help “form a more perfect union” at the end of the Civil War in 1865, by black and white residents of Charleston, South Carolina and surroundings. They built and decorated the Martyrs of the Racecourse Cemetery to properly bury black and white Union soldiers who’d died in the 1863 battle at nearby Ft. Wagner and in the prisoner-of-war camp on the race track in Charleston. Their parade bringing flowers to the graves began what was for a few years called Decoration Day, and later reborn as Memorial Day. Those “Friends of the Martyrs” and the “Patriotic Association of Colored Men” may not have heard Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or his evocation of the “mystic chords of memory stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart,” but his idea of reconstruction of a better nation was in their hearts.
The Memorial Day 2021 online town meeting of The LaRouche Organization revealed, in a two- and one-half hour composition of historic words of leaders from Lincoln to Lyndon LaRouche, how all of them had looked at the pre-eminent question of peace or war, from the standpoint of ending war with charity. The idea of ending hot war or cold war by creating a more perfect union of sovereign nations, governed the way each of those leaders viewed and treated their “enemies.” They sought to end war or fierce conflict for the future, by understanding and acting for the “benefit of the other” against whom they had been fighting or preparing to fight.
From Dag Hammerskjøld bringing Lincoln’s words into the UN in his first speech as its Secretary-General; to Gen. Douglas MacArthur going alone and unguarded to a Japanese military base to address the just-defeated Japanese people; to Lyndon LaRouche viewing the potential of fellow veteran Dwight Eisenhower after the death of FDR; and JFK speaking about the relationship of poetry to political power; this special town meeting presentation kept recasting 1945’s unfinished work of peace and development among “more perfect” nations in an improving humanity. Moderator Dennis Speed concluded:
Now the unfinished task left after the Second World War is best seen by the idea of creating a world health platform that brings to fruition the true vision of those veterans to stop the wanton and arbitrary loss of human life throughout the planet…. And it’s greater than that in the United States where people often use the phrase, “Thank you for your service,” but they don’t necessarily want to perform the service, the true service which was that which MacArthur and Kennedy and Eisenhower and Lyndon LaRouche have spoken to you about today.