Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day in the South, 2013

Monument to First Memorial Day
Columbus, Georgia
Memorial Day has its roots in the South, where in the year or so after the close of the War Between the States, widows and wives and mothers and daughters went to cemeteries to place flowers on and care for the graves of their loved ones who had given their lives in the cause of the Confederacy.

It is still a special and moving holiday in the South today and this year there are many noteworthy events associated with it.  Here is a sampling:

Vicksburg National Military Park - Memorial Day 2013 falls during the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Siege and Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Events set for tomorrow include a Memorial Day Parade through downtown Vicksburg at 10 a.m., Memorial Day Program at 11 a.m. at the Vicksburg Civic Center and a Wreath laying at 12 noon at Vicksburg National Cemetery.

Chattanooga National Cemetery - A Decoration Day Torchlight Tour will be held at Chattanooga National Cemetery tomorrow night at 8:45 p.m.  The tour is free but be sure to bring water, a flashlight and to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. The cemetery is located at 1200 Bailey Avenue in Chattanooga.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park - There will be firing demonstrations by reenactors at the Visitor Center tomorrow at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Kennesaw Mountain High School's Color Guard will perform at 1 p.m. and a moment of silence will be observed at 3 p.m.

Andersonville National Historic Site  - The Avenue of Flags will be on display at Andersonville National Cemetery and visitors can reflect at the Naitonal P.O.W. Museum.

Shiloh National Military Park - Ceremonies will be held tomorrow at the Confederate Mass Graves (near Tour Stop #13) at 11 a.m., followed by ceremonies at Shiloh National Cemetery at 11:30 a.m.

Pea Ridge National Military Park - Closed due to budget cuts, which I find to be a particularly sad way to observe Memorial Day.  Perhaps closing on a different day this week would have been more appropriate?

Cowpens National Battlefield - Memorial Day services will take place at the Visitor Center at 11:55 a.m.

Fort Pickens - Living history encampment all day, ranger led tours of the fort at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and a moment of silence at 3 p.m.

There will be many other events coordinated on a local, state and national level tomorrow.  If you can attend one, please do.  If you are unable to attend in person, I hope you will join me in observing a moment of silence at 3 p.m.

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