The original intention of Memorial Day was to honor the union soldiers who died fighting the civil war. In celebration of the first official observance of Memorial Day, in 1868, women would place flowers on the graves of soldiers, and men would raise the American flag, except in the south. In the south, people had been honoring their fallen soldiers for years before General John A. Logan issued the order that all Americans observe the recognized holiday. Southerners refused to recognize the official holiday until after World War 1.
What many people don’t know is that the actual first Memorial Day was in fact celebrated in 1865 by a group of freed slaves in Charleston. The location had been a Confederate prison camp, and then became a mass grave for Union soldiers who had perished while imprisoned. The liberated slaves removed the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave and reburied them in separate graves, fenced in the graveyard, and even built an entry arch proclaiming it a Union graveyard. They proudly declared this to be “Decoration Day” which they observed every year even though it was extremely dangerous for them to do so. The south was not a Union friendly sort of place in those first few years after the war, and it would be nearly another century before anyone with really dark brown skin was made to feel appreciated.
The freed slaves were grateful and appreciative to all of the soldiers who died to assure their freedom. In return, the American government appropriated this day of respect and named it their own. Hmmmmmmm, pretty much the same way they did for the African slaves themselves, and the Native Americans, and the country of America itself too.
After the First World War, the observance of Memorial Day was altered to include every soldier who died in defense of America. During Memorial Day speeches right up until the last decade, the word “woman” was not mentioned among those who should be honored, even though many women served and died in the armed forces.
I think there should be some replacements of holidays, and a few other days added to the calendar of American holidays. Below is a list of my ideas, what would your suggestions be?
Apologize to the African-Americans Day
Honesty Not Hypocrisy Day
Native Americans, Please Forgive Us Day (Instead of Thanksgiving)
Guilt and Retribution Day (Instead of Columbus Day)
We Should Have Done Things Differently Day (Instead of Independence Day)
It’s Perfectly Ok to Be Single Day (Should Be Celebrated the Day after Valentine’s Day)
We Have Freedom Of Religion, Right? Day (Should be observed for the entire period of time between Christmas and Easter)
Wasn’t Jesus Really Born In Spring? Day (Instead of Christmas)
Christians Aren’t Really In Charge of Everyone and Everything Day