Musing-Memorial Day

Does anyone know the roots of Memorial Day? I do. It started when black slaves buried Union soldiers who fought on their behalf to free them. Semantics seem to matter. It isn’t ‘The Civil War’, or the ‘War Between the States,’ the south prefers ‘The War of Northern Aggression.’ Is that important? You tell me. I live a half and hour from Harriet Tubman’s home and my city was a stop on the Underground Railroad. I’m pretty sure if I was around back then I would have been an abolishionist, and my sons might have been any one of the Union soldiers buried that first Memorial Day.

People don’t understand history, and they should. Everybody is in such a hurry to revise, sanitize or otherwise negate what happened. They say the victor gets to write history and before the Information Age i bet that was true. Now nobody knows the truth since everybody believes the version that supports their own viewpoint. I tried to explain to my 17 year old that evolving from one viewpoint to another takes time. I said if my mom married someone of a different race, her parents would’ve disowned her. If I married someone of a different race, Sunday dinners would’ve been pretty chilly but we wouldn’t be disinvited, and if my kids married someone of another race, well, set another place at the table.

So we as a country change history one generation at time. We need to remember to embrace the next generation as the agents of change and pretty much shut up and sit down. Let the youth pursue their vision, and if you can’t support them at least get out of their way.

Happy Memorial to you and yours.

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