Skip to comments.Confederate Memorial Day in N.C. (May 10, 2003)
Posted on 05/10/2003 10:10:46 PM PDT by Constitution Day
I spent this day in Wilson, N.C., where a memorial service was held for the 101 Confederates buried in the "Soldiers' Mound" in Maplewood Cemetery. Various groups and individuals researched the identities of those interred in this mound, and today, Confederate Memorial Day, a bronze marker was placed at the mound's edge with the soldiers' names, units and states. Dennis Rogers of the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer was the keynote speaker. CD
This mass grave, filled with the remains of those who died in Wilson General Hospital #2, was capped with a monument on May 10, 1902.
Prior to this, nothing at the site indicated this. This was a tremendous undertaking for many people.
The major portion of his remarks were taken from his column, published in the above newspaper on May 11, 1996.
I do not often agree with Mr. Rogers in his other columns, but I believe FR readers may enjoy this.
I am typing this out from a photocopy and, as far as I know, this article does not exist online.
Various groups and individuals researched the identities of those interred in this mound, and today, Confederate Memorial Day, a bronze marker was placed at the mound's edge with the soldiers' names, units and states.
Dennis Rogers of the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer was the keynote speaker.
Give us this day.
Give us this day to remind ourselves whence we came. Give us leave to look back, without shame but with fondness, toward a time and a culture long disappeared into the mists of time.
Give us this day to celebrate without guilt, without feeling that what we are doing is dirty and should be hidden away from the disapproving gaze of others.
Give us this day free of snotty accusations that we pitifully ramble in the past because we choose to hold dear to our traditions, the tragedies and triumphs of those who came before us.
Give us Confederate Memorial Day, just this one day each year to say, proudly and in public: I am a Southerner and I am proud of my history and heritage. Yesterday was the official day, but it is today in cemeteries and courthouse squares across the state, that we step into the sunlight and take our stand.
We have been told that by honoring the past we honor the inhumanity of slavery, that by taking our stand with our Southern ancestors, we are promoting a racism disguised as heritage; that by standing proudly in the shadow of our old flags, we are insulting those who suffered the indignity of captivity.
Our protestations of innocence fall on deaf ears. No one gives credence to our denials. Accusations hurled are accusations proven. If they say we hate, then we must hate. If they say our flag is a banner of slavery, then it must be so.
But give us this day, just this one day, to say to our detractors, you are wrong. On this one day, believe us when we say it is our heritage, not your hate, that moves us.
Believe us when we say that we do not wave the flag under which our forefathers served to insult anyone, only to honor those men and women for whom honor was paramount. Believe us when we say, as is engraved on the statue to their memory in Kinston, that it was "Not for wages, not for glory, 'twas for home and right they fell."
Give us this day to take part in the celebrations of heritage that others enjoy. Our past means something important to us, too, and all we ask is to be left in peace to hold close to our hearts that which seems so distant now.
Today, we place flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes. Today, we fly the honored soldier's flag that they flew in battle. It is not the Stars and Bars under which slavery was legal or the Stars and Bars under which politicians tried to establish a rebel nation. Rather, ours is the bloodied and ripped old flag that the soldiers took into battle with them, the flag that they died to keep aloft, and the flag that embraced them when they were laid to rest in Southern soil.
Do not ask us to dishonor that flag because ignorant hatemongers have tried to steal it for their own evil uses. Do not ask us to be ashamed to fly it because others have brought it into disrepute. We did not do it, and we grieve that it happened, but we will not accept defeat and we will not give up our flag.
Today is the day we take our stand beside those who went before, beside those who fought the good fight, beside those who covered themselves with timeless glory at faraway Gettysburg and beside those who valiantly defended their homes just down the road in Bentonville.
Today we take our stand, in the words of the old song, to live and die for Dixie.
Give us this day.
Indeed, many people forget that.
The program gave thanks (among others) to the Sons of Union Veterans.
A representative from them was present, a show of respect which was definitely appreciated.
Our ancestors deserve to be honoured for their service, their courage, and even their lives knowing that many would not return from battle. No matter which side of the battle they were on, their rank, or their colour. They deserve to be remembered.
As far as I know, the list of the soldiers buried here does not exist online, having just been revealed to the public on Saturday.
I do have the program from the event, which lists the names.
The bronze marker, however, goes an additional step and lists the unit and state information.
I did take a picture of the marker, but have not gotten it developed.
If you'd like, I will be happy to post that picture when I get it.
Alternately, I could have the back of the program scanned and post that.
Let me know.
"He alone deserves to be remembered by his children who treasures up and preserves the memory of his fathers."
--Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
If this person is talking about the song "Dixie", then he doesn't know the words.
I especially like that quote.
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