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Memorial Day 2021 Message From the Chancellor

May 27, 2021

Memorial Day 2021 Message

Greetings Colleagues,

The muffled drum's sad roll has beat

The soldier's last Tattoo;

No more on life's parade shall meet

That brave and fallen few.

On Fame's eternal camping ground

Their silent tents are spread,

And glory guards, with solemn round

The bivouac of the dead.


Theodore O'Hara, 1847

This weekend marks the 153rd anniversary of the first “Memorial Day” remembrance. Originally established as “Decoration Day,” on that first event then-Congressman James Garfield addressed a gathering of over 5,000 people at Arlington Cemetery to honor fallen Civil War soldiers from both armies.

In his 1868 petition to establish Decoration Day as a national holiday, Maj. Gen. John Logan implored:

Let us then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of springtime.

Let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor.

Let us, in this solemn presence, renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

Over this weekend, volunteers will decorate the graves of military fallen; and on Monday, May 31st, flags will be lowered to half-staff and Taps will be played by lone buglers as we gather at to commemorate the more than one million men and women who have given their lives in the service of our country. At 3:00 PM that day, across our nation, many will pause in a moment of silence in memory of those fallen.

Among our students, faculty and staff are some who lost comrades or loved ones to war; especially our veteran students, some of whom were recognized in this year’s various Commencement exercises. For some of us, Memorial Day has a face or even several. Please take time to honor their memories.

On behalf of the Governing Board and moreover on behalf of families who have sacrificed children, parents or siblings in war, I encourage you to attend a local Memorial Day Commemoration, or to take time in your own way, to remember those we have lost. To those of us who will be honoring fallen comrades, let us set a place at table or tip a glass … and never forget.