The observance of Memorial Day, the most solemn day on our civic calendar, gives us a moment to consider a powerful phrase from the Old Testament: "Remember! And do not forget." That is an admonition to the Israelites from the Book of Deuteronomy.
Remember! And do not forget.
REMEMBER how it important it is that we Americans -- new Americans or descended from those who once were new, Americans of diverse backgrounds, Americans young or old -- share a common set of civic values: liberty, equality, perseverance, fair play.
DO NOT FORGET the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect those values.
Remember and do not forget. That is the message of the flag's stars and stripes flying outside City Hall
Remember and do not forget. That is the message of our Soldiers' Memorial.
Remember and do not forget. That is the message of the sad notes of Taps sounded at Jefferson Barracks.
When the Memorial Day services are over, summer really begins in America. We will go our different ways and do a thousand different things. And, yet, I strongly believe that this summer's most important moments are the ones that we spend today remembering the important values about which we agree.