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A Memorial Day Address

by Charles Hopkins

Delivered in Boonton, New Jersey,
May 31, 1920

  New Jersey monument

Again we are called upon to observe the day that is set aside for honoring the dead that died for the cause that welded this Nation as one, and fought to save from desecration the flag that bespeaks Liberty to all who claim its protection.

Fifty-five years have passed since the rattle of musketry, and the roar of cannon have become quiet in the war to save a Nation, that made it possible to become the real Arbiter of the greatest War in the history since the birth of man.

The veteran of 1865 is answering "here" to the last roll call by the thousands annually, and a few years will complete the list. Then, the most unique body of men will have passed into history without perpetuation. The Grand Army of the Republic name dies with the death of its last member. The new splendid body of young men will take up the work and finish as has the G.A.R.

A beautiful Memorial Day service is fitting in all communities and it should be sacredly observed for honoring the dead that gave their all to save a Nation whole. The successful Civil War made the World War a success so far as this country was concerned. Honor your dead, and you honor yourself.


William B. Styple, John J. Fitzpatrick, editors, The Andersonville Memoirs of Charles Hopkins (New Jersey: Belle Grove Publishing Company, 1988), p. 213.

Photo of the New Jersey monument at Andersonville National Cemetery by Jack Fitzpatrick, care of Hopkins's book.

Thanks to Bill Styple for use of this material. See
Remembering Our Civil War Veterans for more about Memorial Day, including a button worn by Charles Hopkins in 1916.


Index to Hopkins's Pages
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