Monday is Confederate remembrance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2003

State and county offices will be closed Monday in observance of Confederate Memorial Day.

"We must never forget nor be ashamed of our ancestors, especially those who made the supreme sacrifice for our home, family and country," said Leonard Wilson, in a press release for the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The tradition began shortly after the American Civil War - which most Southerners call the War Between the States - by southern ladies placing flowers on the graves of Confederate soldiers killed during the war.

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Much of the credit for the creation of the federal Memorial Day holiday is given to southerners, according to most published histories of the holiday.

The founder of the Federal Memorial Day, Gen. John A. Logan, who was

Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.

He was so impressed with the way the South honored their dead with a special day, he became convinced that such a day must be created to honor Union dead.

Logan is reported to have been "deeply touched" by seeing battlefield graves near Richmond, Va. decorated with flags and laurel wreaths, and said "it was most fitting; that  the ancients, especially the Greeks, had honored their dead, particularly their heroes, by chaplets of laurel and flowers, and that he intended to issue an order designating a day for decorating the grave of every soldier in this land, and if he could he would have made it a holiday." Logan ordered his posts to decorate graves in 1868. He named it after the South's version: Decoration Day.

The Confederate Memorial Day is observed on April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; on May 10 in North Carolina and South Carolina; on May 30 in Virginia; and on June 3 in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee.