A tradition that takes place here in the South is the celebration of their most famous' generals' birthdays, specifically, Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Southerners so cherish them that they even have their likenesses carved into the face of Stone Mountain in Atlanta, along with Jefferson Davis. Although reverence for these important generals has waned in recent years, there are many who still honor them with ceremonies, parades, and dinners.
Not long ago, General Lee's birthday was treated as an observed holiday, in that all state offices were closed on that day to honor him. Because his birthday falls on January 19, it is now clumped together with Martin Luther King Day (ironic, I know). Because Jackson's birthday is on the 21st, the two generals' birthdays are celebrated simultaneously.
Many Civil War organizations honor these extraordinary men by holding what is known as Lee-Jackson dinners around the country, primarily in the east and south. My husband, who is a new member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and I will be attending our first Lee-Jackson dinner this Saturday, so I will give a report of the celebration here on my blog next Monday. It is my hope that this day will continue to be observed, because even though their views are now considered politically incorrect, at the time, these men served their country and God with utmost valor and respect. It is our responsibility to honor that.