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Jack Carr's take on John A. Logan's Memorial Day order: 'Guard their graves with sacred vigilance'

Jack Carr, bestselling author and former Navy SEAL task unit commander, recounts the orders to create Memorial Day — a day to remember, honor and mourn those who died serving our nation.

"Guard their graves with sacred vigilance."

Memorial Day marks a time for us as a nation to remember, honor and mourn those members of the U.S. armed forces who died in service to the country throughout our history.

Its origins lie with a war that took place within our own borders.  

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What follows is the Memorial Day order, issued on May 5, 1868, in reference to a specially designated time to pause, honor — and remember. 

It was issued by Grand Army of the Republic Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan, an author, politician, and Union general during the Civil War — and is shared here.

"General Order No. 11, Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic, Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868: The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land."

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Logan continued, "In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit. 

"We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, ‘of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings, which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.’"

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He continued, "What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes?" 

Logan went on, "Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance."

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He said, "All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders."

"Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds.

"Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners." 

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And "let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of [a] free and undivided republic."

"If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us," said Gen. John A. Logan." 

Remember …

Follow Jack Carr on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/jackcarrusa.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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