Sunday, May 30, 2010
Formally know as "Decoration's Day" Memorial Day is a remembrance of those faithful soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice to help preserve our way of life. According to most historians, Memorial Day as we know it was first proclaimed by Gen. John "Black Jack"Logan (1868) who served in the Union Army. If you Atlantans recognize this name (vaguely I presume) you may remember it through historical reference to the "Battle of Atlanta" (you know Gone with the Wind?). He also commissioned the "Cyclorama Painting located near the Atlanta Zoo. Gen. Logan was even selected to run as Vice-President along side James Blaine in the 1884 election (won by Grover Cleveland).
However, Prof. of American History David Blight from Yale paints a different picture. Mr. Blight tells a little know tail of former slaves in Charleston, S.C. who in 1866 exhumed the bodies of Union Soldiers from a mass grave (from a confederate prison camp). They then proceeded to place them in honorable individual graves. A few weeks later a celebration took place in honor of the men who lost their lives for their freedom...
"We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies". (by Moina Michael)
So begins Summer...