Today is not only New Year’s Eve, it’s also the birthday of Civil War General George Gordon Meade, which was celebrated with full Civil War military regalia by reenactors at Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery. Representatives from today’s Army, Navy and Marines were all present, and the ceremony included speeches, wreath-laying, and a twenty one gun salute with Springfield and Enfield rifles.
It was cold and rainy but I managed to take some pictures. Hope you like them.
Um, I took all of them except this first one, as there was no way to photograph General Meade (who’d be 190 years old today):

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To go with the above, here’s Robert E. Lee’s assessment of him:

“Meade, in my judgment, had the greatest ability. I feared him more than any man I ever met upon the field of battle.”

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I think General Meade’s birthday is as good an occasion as any to mark the end of the year, by remembering the past (and those who’ve gone before), as we think about the future. In a letter to his daughter in 1862, General Meade expresses a timeless sentiment:

Duty, however, requires me to be here, to do the little I can to defend our old flag, and whatever duty requires us to do, we should all, old and young, do cheerfully, however disagreeable it may be.

Yes, we should.
And with that, Happy New Year everyone!