Memorial Day

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Memorial Day, May 30, 1884

Keene, New Hampshire

"When men have instinctively agreed to celebrate an anniversary, it will be found that there is some thought of feeling behind it which is too large to be dependent upon associations alone...

So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly."