THE DECORATION OF GRAVES
Solomon's Song, 4: 4: "The tower of David builded for
an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all
shields of mighty men."
(Preached on the Sunday before Decoration Day.)
The Church is here compared to an armory, the
walls hung with trophies of dead heroes. Walk all
about this tower of David and see the dented shields
and the twisted swords and the rusted helmets of ter-
rible battle. So we turn our Church to-day into an
armory adorned with memories of our departed
braves. Blossom and bloom, oh, walls, with stories of
self-sacrifice; the shadows gathered into this drapery
typical of our grief for the dead, and the light clustered
into these constellations symbolical of our national
deliverance. You see it is not the blackness of dark-
ness, but night with stellar illumination.
By unanimous decree of the people of the United
States of America, the graves of all the Northern and
Southern dead are every year decorated. The nation
comes forth with garlands for the graves of the de-
parted and consolation for the bereft who are living.
All acerbity and bitterness have gone out of the
national solemnity, and as the men and women of the
South one month ago floralized the cemeteries and
graveyards, so to-morrow we the men and women of
the North shall put upon the tombs of our dead the
kiss of patriotic affection. Bravery always appreciates
bravery, though it fight on the other side; and if a
soldier of the Federal army had been a month ago at
Savannah he would not have been ashamed to march
in the floral processions to the cemetery. And if to-
morrow there be a Confederate soldier walking in
Greenwood, he will be glad to put a sprig of heart's-
ease on the silent heart of our dead.
In a battle during our last war, the Confederates
were driving back the Federals, who were in swift re-
treat, when a Federal officer dropped wounded. One
of his men stopped at the risk of his li ...
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