President Obama tells a Memorial Day story that I do not remember learning in school.
The formal practice of honoring our country's war dead began in 1866 when a group of women went to a cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi, to place flowers on the graves of Confederate soldiers.
Noticing that no one had visited the adjacent graves of Union soldiers in the same cemetery, the Southern women laid flowers on those graves as well. The war over, but with its divisions still bitter, these wives, daughters, and sisters chose to honor the sacrifice of the adversaries who lay beside their husbands, fathers, and brothers.
That is a very moving story. The Confederate women of Columbus left us an extraordinary lesson ' and example - about forgiveness and patriotism.
As citizens of a country at war, it is important for us to remember that many of our St. Louis neighbors have lost family members in the country's wars; to remember that young Americans remain at risk in Afghanistan and Iraq; and to remember that our duty as their survivors is to ensure their sacrifice and service not be in vain.
God bless their memories and the United States of America.