One hung-over mornin’ back in ‘68, a bunch of dope smoking congressional hippies got to humming ♪ The Times They are a-Changin’ ♬ and passed the: Let’s Move Everything to Monday! Act.
…creating three-day weekend getaways out of solemn days of remembrance.
(Holidays already observed on Monday were sloughed off to the following Saturday along with trash pickup.)
As part of the package, Washington’s Birthday was demoted to President’s Day and unceremoniously pegged to the third Monday (a day which never actually falls on the 22nd) to provide participation trophies for the Good, the Bad, and the Paltry.
Not long after, veterans who served their country had their day restored. But veterans who died for their country did not.
So, ending a hundred years of tradition, the last Monday in May became Memorial Day Observed, and May 30th… unobserved.
At the ceremony dedicating the Gettysburg cemetery, President Lincoln paid tribute to those who “…gave the last full measure of devotion” but he made no distinction between the “…honored dead”.
They were all Americans. And they were family …literally.
The war divided more than just a nation. Evenings at Vicksburg (under guard and flag of truce) brothers, fathers, and sons from opposing camps were allowed to visit and exchange notes from home.
Years earlier, their fathers and grandfathers helped shepherd thirteen rebelling colonies into a new nation “…conceived in liberty”.
General Lee’s family sided with the Union. And even though Robert E. opposed slavery, he returned South to his home in Virginia to fend off invaders from the North.
Rebel flags kinda run in the family.
We were already at war with King George when General George called on Miss Betsy to stitch our original rebel flag: Red and white stripes on a sea of blue ringed with thirteen stars.
However wrong the Confederate cause was, their rebellion was born of a desire to be free from the dictates of a distant power:
In 1776 it was Parliament
In 1861 it was Congress
…something even them “Blue Bellies” had to admire.
At Appomattox Court House, General Lee surrendered what was left of his army to General Grant. The terms of surrender were generous and simple: Go home and fight no more. As Lee rode away, some Union soldiers began to cheer. But they were quickly silenced by Grant. “The Confederates are now our countrymen.”
And all those monuments and plaques? We forged those – to honor the memory of our brothers who, at one time fought for us, but died fighting against us.
For desecrating any memorial, snowflakes and millennial know-nothings ought to be turned over the nation’s knee and paddled.
Our Confederate brothers may not have wanted to be family. They held views we didn’t agree with, and fought back when we tried to push them around. But they were, and are… family. They were born to the Land. They inherited Liberty’s birthright. And they were buried in her soil.
Memorial Day Observed has become little more more than a three day getaway for barbecues, ball games, and shore excursions. May 30th is the day to remember the forgotten.
A forgotten day for forgotten men.
On the Fourth of July
But corruptible absolute power ended with “When in the course of human events… .”
The One on the Right
These flower children regard the Constitution like the stone tablets hefted by Moses: Beautiful sentiment but way too uncool and square.