Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

 Black Regiment - Civl War

The men of Company E, 4th United States Colored Infantry. Theirs was one of the detachments assigned to guard the nation's capital during the American Civil War. Photo circa 1864. (Source: United States Library of Congress. Public domain photo)

I write this post in honor and in memory of my paternal grand father who fought overseas in World War 2  then returned to the Jim Crow south to teach at what was known then as the Veterans Continuation School (pre GI Bill), a federal program designed for veterans returning home from the war to continue their education. He and my paternal grandmother taught classes at night and received a stipend. One of the classes they taught was how to pass the Literacy test. My grandparents were exempt from paying the $2.00 poll tax and allowed to vote because they were teachers at the school. So you see, even though my paternal grandfather was a WW2 veteran he didn't have the full rights and privileges he'd risked life and limb fighting for overseas.

Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865 in Charleston SC to honor 257 dead Union soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp.  They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give each of them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom.
 They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children who marched, sang and celebrated. In that spirit Happy Memorial Day (h/t) JB

What I'm working on:  Why I can't support the Alabama Democratic Majority

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