Finally, here are the favorite selections of President Coolidge’s Memorial Day Address given on the battlefield at Gettysburg, May 30, 1928.
Happy Memorial Day to all those who have served our country, from the very beginning, from those who first put on the blue and gray to those whose bodies now rest in graves all around the world not for conquest or empire but for the surpassing worth of America’s highest and best ideals. Motivated by her foundational appeal to righteousness and law, and her selfless service to requests time and time again by peoples and nations the world over, America’s uniformed deserve, now more than ever, our remembrance and esteem. When we could have enhanced imperial dreams and be occupying country after country to this day, it was America which left first, setting the example for others to disarm and restore the civilized burdens of peace.
From Cuba to the Ruhr Valley, from Berlin to Tokyo, we left each people to work out their own salvation and to let us return to our own toil and task. We ask for not a single foot of ground, save that to bury our dead in service to the cause of liberty, peace, and the well-being of all nations. In a human history full of injustice, cruelty and domination, what America has done, in deliberately deviating from that “norm,” is a legacy not to malign, obscure or misrepresent but is one deserving of the highest praise and honor. Thank you, Mr. Coolidge, for reminding us of such important truths.