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Confederate Memorial Day

Yesterday's observation of Confederate Memorial day was cool. It was about thirty minutes long and featured an invocation, pledges of allegiance, recitation of some poetry, presentation of a wreath, various remarks, honor salute, singing of Dixie and a benediction. All told, it was rather moving.

The observation took place in Greensboro's Green Hill Cemetery, where there is a monument for 300 unknown Confederate soldiers who are buried in the cemetery. The monument is on a slight mound, and I'm guessing that it marks a mass grave. There were probably about forty people who showed up for the observation.

I took pictures. I'll probably never get around to doing any photo editing other than the cropping I did on those last night, so go ahead and check out the gallery I uploaded this morning. I particularly like the close-up of one of the flags that I included in this post, the honor salute, where I managed to capture several shots before the smoke from the guns dissipated (yay "sports" mode!), and the statue with the flag over the shoulder.

All told, it was an evening well-spent.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Great pics.

Did you see on the news about the Beaufort County courthouse?
May. 11th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)

No, got a link?
May. 12th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
I got this which is from the website of the News Station that I saw do a piece on it last night.
May. 12th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
Cool, thanks!
May. 13th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
I have until this moment never heard of this observance.

What a tribute to the soldiers of a defunct nation that had a few things wrong, and so many things right.
May. 13th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
This is the first year I've heard of this. In Greensboro, they've been doing it for 108 years.
May. 14th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
Don't you feel a little bit bad for honoring the fallen troops on the evil side of the war? Since I moved to Virginia I have been fascinated with the honoring and upholding of the confederacy. It seems almost immoral to me to honor the depraved humanity that was the south. Granted, I grew up in New York, so maybe I was schooled a bit differently than people from the south and perhaps the claims of the evil done by the south were exaggerated a wee bit, but I can't imagine I was fed pure lies that upon uncovering the truth would lead me to say "oh yes, those southerners weren't quite so horrifically evil as i was taught."

Any insight you can offer me? Or is this just generational sickness on the part of southerners and a stubborness to feel truely sorry for the evil their ancestors did?
May. 14th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
You used evil four times in your response, but since you didn't cite what, specifically, you think is evil about the South, I'm not sure how to respond to your questions. I'll attemt to respond in general, and if you give me some specifics, I'll try to address those. I'm not going to let this thread turn into a re-hashing of the War, though, so don't be surprised if after a few rounds of back-and-forth, I let the subject drop.

If you're genuinely interested in the subject, I recommend that you spend some time studing the War, and its causes, with more devotion than is typically taught in general U.S. History classes. The causes of the War are complex, and cannot be adequately explored in a few lessons. Over the past several years, I've become more interested in the history of the War. I've been reading books. I've been visiting historical sites. I've been talking with other people interested in this aspect of history. I'm getting a bettter understanding of the War, and it's definitely a different understanding than I learned in school. You say that you were taught that southerners were "horrifically evil." I say to question that teaching, examine the facts more deeply, and decide for yourself.

I suspect that you believe that slavery is the single issue that the War was fought over (let me know if my suspicison is incorrect). If that were the only cause of the War, I could probably agree that the Sout was completely in the wrong. However, the main issue in the War was the character of the Union -- are States free to leave the Union, or are they required to remain a part of the Union forever? I don't see that as a moral question, so I wouldn't attribute evil to either side of that argument. The reasons that the South wanted to remove themselves from the Union are similar to some of the same questions you were asking last week -- why is it Constitutional for the Federal government to dictate what individual States do? It's not, and States in the South were tired of the Federal government doing just that, and they wanted to disassociate themselves from the Union as a result.

War is always a terrible thing. If you look, you will find evil on both sides. As a previous comment notes, the CSA had a few things wrong, the institution of slavery being chief. But they had so many things right: the propper role of federal vs. local government, self-determination, self-reliance. When I honor the fallen CSA soldiers, this is what I honor: men who paid the ultimate price fighting for the cause of self-determination.

In war, just as there is evil to be found on both sides, there is also honor to be found on both sides.

Why, specifically, do you think that southerners are "horrifically evil"?
May. 14th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
Here is what i was taught in school, and what seemed to be confirmed at least in part on a recent history channel show on the civil war that i watched. ...

At some point, the north had a moral awakening and realized slavery was wrong. Realizing the constitution applied to all men and not just white men, slavery was understood to be de facto immoral, unconstitutional, etc. The southerners were not as forward thinking or pure hearted because they were greedy and didn't like the idea of having to pay their slave laborers instead of using them freely, refused to comply with this new interpretation of the constitution. Lincoln honorably told the south that ending slavery was not a option for the United States but a requirement. The south pouted like a rebellious child and said "well fine then, we don't want to be in the united states anymore. nyah" Lincoln said there is no method of ceeding outlined in the constitution, so i don't believe its allowed. Big war, southerners become even more evil as they cling to their cherished slavery and arrogance- putting land mines in the path of the north [unheard of at that time and Sherman made the southern POW's dig them out by hand in retailiation], making mass graves and throwing in the northerners alive, etc. For the south it was all about money and the sick belief that black men were nothing more than property. For the north it was about freedom, honoring all of mankind and the constitution. Luckily the north, courageous as they were, won. Unfortunately some southerners regret it to this day and name their schools after confederate leaders and fly the confederate flag.
May. 14th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
General Tecumseh Sherman, brilliant though he was, was also responsible for heinous brutality during the Civil War. http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/web/20050901-atlanta-civl-war-sherman-hood-lincoln.shtml

This site also gives some good information eschewing the idea that every Northern was passionate about freeing slaves. The North was not always the moral high ground... http://www.slavenorth.com/
May. 14th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
That's a simplistic and factually incorrect view.

For example, if there was a great moral awakening in the North regarding slavery, why did slavery remain legal in Washington, DC -- the nation's capital -- until April 16, 1862? Keep in mind that fighting had begun in the War more than a year before (first shots were fired on April 12, 1861), and talk of secession had been going on for some time prior to the commencement of fighting. Even Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, issued in September of 1862 (effective on January 1, 1863) only declared freedom for slaves in Confederate territories that had not already returned to Union control -- it did not free slaves in the border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia, or in southern territories already under Union control. Simply looking at a basic timeline of events shows that a Northern moral awakening is mythical, at best.

I'm going to crosspost this response to your journal and suggest that further discussion on the causes of the War, etc. take place there. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not looking to re-hash the War here -- I simply mean to honor the Confederate dead. However, as I do enjoy discussing this topic, I'll be happy to move the conversation to the post in your journal, where it seems more appropriate and where there are probably more people interested in participating in the discussion.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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