Restoring Memoriam to Memorial Day

[NYT] This Memorial Day, as we head to the lake and the beach, grill and drink, shop and save, lay out in the sun or seek shady places, we must remain cognizant that the holiday didn’t begin as a day of celebration or commerce but one of solemnity and, indeed, memoriam.

 

As David W. Blight, a professor of history and the director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yalewrote in The New York Times in 2011, during the final year of the Civil War, a racetrack was converted to an outdoor prison for Union captives; “at least 257 died of disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand.”

 

Blight wrote: “After the Confederate evacuation of Charleston, black workmen went to the site, reburied the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery” and the freed people, “in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged a parade of 10,000 on the track.”

 

He continued: “After the dedication, the crowd dispersed into the infield and did what many of us do on Memorial Day: enjoyed picnics, listened to speeches and watched soldiers drill.”

 

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Open New York Times Link For Full Article:

http://nyti.ms/1JPp6cl

MEMORIAL DAY MAY 25 2015 - 1 MEMORIAL DAY MAY 25 2015

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