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  • Writer's pictureSSH - FL

The Forgotten History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the outgrowth of Southern Memorial Day, a day, the women of the South would decorate the graves of their war dead - also known as "Decoration Day". Mrs. Charles J. Williams' husband died in 1862, and she was buried in Columbus. She and her husband had a little daughter, who with her mother, visited her daddy's grave every day. The little girl would pluck the weeds from the adjoining unknown soldier graves, and cover them with flowers, calling them "her soldiers' graves". The little girl would not survive the war, and for her daughter's sake, Mrs. Williams continued the practice of weeding and placing floral tributes on the adjacent graves. As she cared for them, the thought of the thousands of patriot graves throughout the South, far away from home and their loved ones. In these thoughts, she devised a plan: one day each year, all around the South, would be set apart to pay tribute to Southern valor. Her initiative would be widely accepted, and the practice was adopted all around the South, and has continuously since that time. . These demonstrations by Southern ladies so impressed Federal Officers that a separate initiative to honor Federal dead advanced, which of course, we observe today as Memorial Day. After all, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

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