Sunday, June 6, 2010
Confederate Decoration Day
This afternoon an inspiring event took place in Memphis. A large group of historians, reenactors, and spectators gathered at the Soldiers’ Rest in historic Elmwood Cemetery, where they paid homage to their ancestors. Known as Confederate Decoration Day, the event was attended by over sixty people.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy sponsored the occasion. Following a welcome, greeting, and invocation by Tennessee division chapter members, the audience was asked to participate in saluting flags, including the American Flag, the Christian Flag, the Flag of Tennessee, and the Confederate Flag. A wreath presentation came next, followed by music performed by the 52nd Regimental Band, who entertain at many local Civil War events.
Donald Harrison, past Commander of the Robert E. Lee SCV camp in Shelby County, gave a wonderful speech discussing why Confederate soldiers fought, why they should not be considered traitors, and why we should honor them by not questioning their motives, as things were quite different 150 years ago, just as ideals will be very different 150 years from now. After a special presentation to a local author, the Children of the Confederacy decorated the Confederate Monument with a bouquet of red roses. Morton’s Battery and the 51st Tennessee Infantry Regiment gave a musket salute, firing off three rounds to the spectators’ enthrallment.
It is events like this that keep the memory of our ancestors alive. Without them, fallen heroes and departed veterans will be lost to history. Although the Civil War is becoming more distant with each passing year, it is still relevant, and extremely important that we pay homage, or it will be forgotten forever. This is what could become of our blessed veterans to future generations: WWI and WWII vets could become extinct to memory, as well as Korean, Vietnam, and more recent battle-scarred soldiers. It has happened with the Revolutionary War, and it is happening with the War Between the States, because assumptions and simplifications have been made about the war’s motives. Let us always pay honor, lest we forget.