Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain on the great reward of service

One hundred and forty seven years ago today in a small town in Pennsylvania two great armies parted after three of the bloodiest days this nation has ever known. The two armies were the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The battle was of course Gettysburg. With casualties between 46,000 and 51,000 there is no doubt that each side had given their “last full measure” for their belief in freedom.

That so many Americans, past and present, have been willing to make such sacrifice should never be forgotten. Nor should these words of freedom:

“In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger. .. This is the great reward of service, to give life’s best for such high stakes that it shall be found again unto life eternal.” ~ Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain