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J.F. MEREDITH
American clergyman
(19th century)

When we look at our vast country with all its resources of wealth and power, at our system of free government with all the appliances for further advancement in greatness and intelligence, reaching as it does from ocean to ocean, with its fields, and mines, and streams, its hills and valleys, smiling in' the sunlight of freedom, inviting the poor and oppressed of all lands to come and occupy them, to plow and reap, to build and grow, and be happy--when we look at all this and think what we would have been had the rebellion proved a success, we feel that our comrades did not die in vain, and we feel that this is but a small token, indeed, of the love that we ought to show their memories. What tender emotions are awakened to-day in our minds as we bend over the silent, yet eloquent, mounds where the American soldier sleeps his last sleep.
      - [Decoration Day]


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