Sixteen years after the end of America's Civil War, General William T. Sherman was greeted by a group of fellow Union Army soldiers during his visit to Mansfield, Ohio. In a brief and impromptu speech to them, he reminded us of the sacrifice made by every citizen who wears the uniform of the United States Armed Forces--and he reminded us of each generation's continuing obligation if we are to preserve our Republic:
"We fought, not for ourselves alone, but for those who are to come after us. The dear old flag we carried through the storm of many battles, ready to die, if need be, that it might still wave over the government of our fathers… Teach your children to honor the flag, to respect the laws, and love and understand our institutions, and our glorious country will be safe with them." General William T. Sherman, July 20, 1881, As quoted in John Sherman, "John Sherman's Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet "(Chicago: Werner Company, Popular Edition, 1896), 649–650.