Today the Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery, Alabama held its annual commemoration of Confederate Memorial Day in Oakwood Cemetery. The Association was formed in 1866 and has held an observance every year since, each April 26th during which the Confederate dead are remembered by flags, speeches and the laying of the wreath. It is complete with color guard, bag pipes, gun salute and Taps played.
Confederate Memorial Day is celebrated as a State holiday in many Southern States, including Alabama. State offices will be closed on Monday, April 28th this year since the 26th is a Saturday. The First White House of the Confederacy will remain open as it will be a day when many visitors will come.
Columbus, Georgia claims that the first Memorial Day was begun there, but it is funny that I was in Columbus, Mississippi this week and they too claim to be the first! Which really was? I have no idea.
The Rev. Donald West spoke to the John B. Gordon Chapter 383, United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter recently, and is quoted as saying: "Something about this observance resonates deeply within us, and speaks to our better natures about duty, responsibility, accountability, reverence, devotion and challenges us to be better than we are. We understand there are still some basic standards and beliefs that strengthen us as a people".