Dale and I discovered much about our country that we hadn’t known before when we followed his great-grandfather’s diary and visited the sites his great grandfather marched through during his slice of the Civil War. One thing that puzzled me as we traveled throughout the south were the decorations we saw in cemeteries, not on the familiar Memorial Day weekend, but much earlier, starting in April. This plaque explained to us what we were seeing.
Confederate ladies clubs across the defeated south rallied and organized and began honoring the 258,000 Confederate soldiers and sailors who died fighting against the Union by placing flowers on their graves.. Today, several southern states still honor this observance in late April, some going so far as to celebrate a state holiday. Researchers have determined that this effort to honor their fallen Confederate heroes most likely formed the basis for the national holiday that we now observe. The article on Wikipedia gives additional information.
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