Memorial Day: A day to place flowers or decorate the graves and honor those who died serving in the military. It’s an ancient tradition that has been practiced in the US before and during the Civil War.
Though we live in seemingly decisive times, this holiday is one that although has history during the civil war, is shared by all in both history, these current times and in our diversity in military servicemen.
On May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina, recently freed African-Americans held a parade of 10,000 people to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers, whose remains they had reburied from a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. Historian David W. Blight discovered contemporary news reports of this forgotten incident in the Charleston Daily Courier and the New-York Tribune. Blight claimed that “African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina.
While many people find fault in the weekend holiday get togethers and feel that its not honoring our fallen servicemen but simply become an excuse to get together and party….that too is in part, tradition. In the 1800’s, extended family members would travel, at times hundreds of miles back to the area their family came from for “Decoration day.” Families would gather to decorate the graves and reconnect with extended family thus an early version of the family reunion.
So let us honor those who have fallen while serving this country, paid the price that afforded us the country, life and freedoms we enjoy. And, get together with family & friends and celebrate life while we are all still here together.