Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was created in 1868 by a Union veterans’ group. They urged survivors of the fallen to decorate their graves on that day. Decoration Day did not morph into a way to reunite the opposing sides in the War of the Rebellion until after the end of Reconstruction.
You may have noticed that I’m an originalist on what to call the Civil War. In the Northern states it was called the War of the Rebellion. If Lost Causers can call it the War Between The States, I can use its Unionist name.
I was pleased to find a featured image that captured the original spirit of the holiday. Post-Reconstruction imagery often featured Grant and Lee shaking hands in front of entangled flags: the stars and stripes and the stars and bars. Forgotten were the reasons for the War of the Rebellion: the preservation of slavery and white supremacy. Such imagery troubled General/President Grant as well: as president he supported racial equality and civil rights. The South lost the war but won the historical battle.
Since I’ve been accused of “politicizing” the holiday by some online trolls, let’s go there again. President* Pennywise has desecrated the holiday by attacking Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper during what was supposed to be a Memorial Day address. The Governor is understandably nervous about the Republicans gathering in Charlotte for their convention. The Impeached Insult Comedian is livid that a mere Governor is raining on his parade. How about decorating his mouth by stuffing a Confederate flag therein? There were good people on both sides, after all.
The last word goes to Jason Isbell: