Memorial Day Message from Mayor David Runfeldt
Yesterday I had the honor of speaking at the annual Memorial Day Service for American Legion Post 279. Although there was no parade this year, the men and women of the Post, the Auxiliary and the SAL did a wonderful job of celebrating and remembering the lives of our hometown heroes who gave their lives in service of our county and those who survived the horrors of war, and have passed since their selfless serving of our country in defense of freedom throughout the world.
I wanted to share with you the words I spoke yesterday. Fittingly, in this year of Lincoln Park's 100th birthday, they include the famous words spoken by our town's namesake, President Abraham Lincoln. These words have always been the reason why we celebrate this day and honor those who serve. I hope you find them as moving to read as I do.
On behalf of myself, the Borough Council and all of our dedicated town employees I want to wish you a Happy Memorial Day and ask you to take some time during the day today to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the ideals of our great country and all those who have proudly served.
Mayor David Runfeldt
"After the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg, a new national cemetery was opened in Gettysburg to house the graves of those who had fallen in battle. President Abraham Lincoln was invited to speak at the inauguration of this national cemetery. Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg by train accompanied by members of his cabinet and other officials. He reached Gettysburg on November 18, 1863, a day before he was scheduled to speak. Large crowds had gathered to witness the inauguration of the cemetery and to hear Lincoln speak. On November 19, 1863, the ceremony began with music, prayer, and an oration. Lincoln's speech was extremely short, and it came near the end of the ceremony. With ten sentences that would go down in history, Lincoln gave his view of the war and why it was necessary to fight it.
The main message of the Gettysburg Address is that ideals are worth dying for and that it is up to the living to carry on the work of those who died to protect them. The ideals of equality and freedom are the foundation of the United States as a nation.
On the 100th birthday of our town being named to honor President Lincoln, I would like to revisit his words so that we may never forget why they were said."
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 battle-field 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.