Of the people, by the people
Some years back I visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery for an annual ceremony honoring Abraham Lincoln. Charlton Heston was there, reciting the Gettysburg Address.
After the ceremony, I walked the rows, pausing to read the names and dates on headstones of veterans who served in every war since the Civil War.
The good citizens of L.A. didn’t choose such a prominent location to honor veterans, of course. It was far away from the center of the city when the first veteran was laid to rest there.
The citizens of Irvine, through our representatives on the city council, can choose to place a veterans cemetery in a place equally as visible and prominent as the one in L.A., or any other we can think of. A veterans cemetery located at the entrance to the city, at the 5 Freeway and Bake Parkway, will be seen by millions each year, and for 100 years hence.
Wherever we choose to bury veterans in our city, let’s do it with reverence and honor. May I suggest we have our own Lincoln’s birthday ceremony each year? His address at the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg still serves as a reminder of our duties as Americans in honoring those who serve:
“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.”