Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Confederate Memorial Day

In North Carolina, May 10 is probably one of the most politically incorrect holidays you could imagine--Confederate Memorial Day. This day is set aside as a memorial for all those who fought for the Confederacy in the War of Northern Aggression. (Sorry, I'm not politically correct, either.)

Robert G. McLendon, commander (perhaps past commander now that a few years have passed) of Madison Starke Perry Camp 1424, Sons of Confederate Veterans, wrote on the occasion of Florida's 2001 Confederate Memorial Day service:

For the most part, soldiers on both sides of that terrible conflict, including thousands of African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics in the Southern armies, served for the same reason Americans have served in all our country's wars - their country was at war, and it was their duty to serve.

Think what you will of those of us who remember our honored dead. Like many, I had family on both sides. I feel my kinship to those who fought for the South more acutely, and perhaps that has colored my views and my politics. However, I recognize both sides for what they were--patriots, fighting for their respective countries.

I take some comfort from the fact that now, 150 years after the end of that conflict, more and more of my fellow citizens believe that their government is an over-reaching behemoth that has exceeded its Constitutional bounds. And I take particular pride in knowing that my ancestors, 150 years ago, were fighting against just that.

Deo Vindice.

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