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Memorial Day, 2013: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated. . .” Abraham Lincoln

May 27, 2013

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Monday, May 27, Memorial Day of 2013:     This morning  I will march in Northfield, Linwood, and Somers Point, with other members of Liberty and Prosperity 1776, the organization I and 18 others formed in Atlantic County ten years ago.

We will meet at 8AM at the home of the organization’s president, Dennis Mahon, at 7 Twelve Oaks Drive, in Northfield.   Everyone who supports our efforts to promote American liberty is welcome to join us.  For details, go to

For more than five years, we marched in these parades carrying  two traditional, but mostly forgotten symbols of American liberty—the wooden pike and the red liberty (Phrygian) cap draped over it.  Both of these symbols appear on the New Jersey state flag.

The wooden pike was the weapon of the farmer, tradesman, and craftsman  in Old Europe.  In the hands of one man, it was useless against an armored knight on horseback.   But if every man in the county assembled with his pike whenever the life, liberty, or property of any one family was wrongfully threatened, they could together knock the knight off his high horse.

The red Phrygian cap was  a symbol of liberty since ancient Roman times when it was worn by newly freed slaves.   See

We understand that many veterans claim that Memorial Day ceremonies should only remember those who died in America’s wars and our military veterans.     But we also agree with what Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg some 150 years ago.    Lincoln said the purpose of these ceremonies is “for us, the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought. . . have thus far so nobly advanced. . .   And 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.“

For Lincoln’s complete speech at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, click

Note that when Lincoln in 1863 spoke of  “Four score and seven years ago”,  he was talking about 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.   Lincoln  repeatedly stated that this document defined our nation by declaring that each of us is created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And by also declaring that governments are instituted “to secure these rights”.

Seth Grossman   May 27, 2013

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