Memory’s wreath of white and red,
Of purest blue and green is spread,
Today, above the patriot dead,
In songs and story blest;
Nor do we grudge the fairest flowers
That oped and bloomed ‘neath Southern showers.
On this Memorial Day of ours,
Laid where the foemen rest.
For Peace has silenced bitter Hate,
The blue and gray together mate,
And by each other’s hearths have sate
Since the long strife was o’er.
Thank God for this! and from this day
May love and prayer keep clear the way,
And make us one in heart for aye—
One country evermore!
It was a woman’s tender thought;
Her slender hand the first wreath wrought,
And she a grateful Nation taught
To garland thus the dead;
So long as gallant knight shall ride
To win by valor lovely bride,
And music stirs the true and tried,
Shall this of her be said!
And when we vaunt of greatest fray.
We’ll ne’er forget that far away
Our wives and mothers prayed each day,
In safety God would keep
The soldier clad in gray or blue.
As comes Memorial Day anew
Let woman’s hand the flowers strew
Where battle heroes lie.
-George B. Griffith in Christian at Work.