While it is always the appropriate time of year to honor our heroes who have been summoned to their final roll call, the winter holidays are a particularly poignent time to remember them.
Paoli Battlefield Historic Park was actually established by veterans of the War of 1812 to honor the fallen heroes of the War of Independence buried there. So it is most fitting that President Madison should address those gathered there on December 16, 1817 (more strictly speaking 2017) to honor those heroes. In the video above, posted on YouTube, you can hear Mr. Madison's remarks on that cold December day in Malvern, Pennsylvania.(Footage is courtesy of Jim Christ and used with permission.)
Wreaths Across America provided the wreaths laid on the graves, as they do for many National Cemeteries across the country. Those who participate come away with a new appreciation of what the men and women laid to rest in these hallowed locations, as well as their families, have sacrificed to keep our nation free and a beacon of hope to the world.
When you pass a cemetery and see flags on the graves, take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice made by those so honored gave for the sake of the rest of us.