Confidence in the military
In his now-forgotten statement proclaiming Memorial Day, the now-forgotten John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, urged Americans not to forget those who had died in the Civil War. It was only three years since the guns were silenced. The country was stitched together but still torn asunder. Much grief and hurt remained.
So Logan, who in time would become a senator and an unsuccessful Republican candidate for vice president, saluted his fallen comrades as “the reveille of freedom to a race in chains” and described their deaths as “the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms.” He issued another call to arms, rallying veterans and civilians alike to visit the tombs of the fallen. His remarks began a great American tradition that became a great American holiday.