Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating Confederate graves before the end of the Civil War: The story I like states that Gen. John Logan saw women in Richmond, VA putting flowers on the graves of Confederate Soldiers and thought all soldiers who died in the service of their country should be so honored.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.
Concord and many Southern States celebrated Confederate Memorial Day each year on May 11. In the 1930's when I was a student at Coltrane Webb, the school children would bring flowers to school and with their teachers would assemble, line up and walk downtown to the Confederate War Memorial and put their flowers on the monument from the top to the bottom. Concord in the early to mid 1900's was served by Clara Harris, Long, Coltrane Webb, Central Primary and Concord High school. Concord's population in the city was around 10,000 to 12,000 and none of these schools offered bus service as walking distance was less than a mile. The memorial was located in front of the Cabarrus County Court House. The fire Dept., which was across the street at the time, would use rope wrapped around the top of the monument and ladders to place the flowers. Veterans, other dignitaries, students and the people of Concord would sing songs such as Dixie, The Bonnie Blue Flag and hear a speech or two, then return to school. Children who were descendants of confederate veterans were invited to Mrs. Charles A. Cannon's house on North Union St. to have tea and cookies in her back yard. The practice of celebrating Confederate Veterans Day was discontinued in Concord in the mid 1960's.
The picture above shows, dignitaries, students, teachers and some veterans in Civil War attire and many Confederate flags being waved. I don't know whether or not I'm in this picture but like to think that I am.
click on photo below for larger view.
Memorial Day is a day we should all observe to honor our War dead. We should honor our veterans still with us this month also and I want to thank all of our veterans for their service to our country and give a special thanks to the four Great Generation Veterans in our club who I am listing below
EE Sam Furr served in US Navy
Ray B. Kluttz served in US Navy
Samuel A Penninger served in US Navy.
William Udovich served in US Army
Some of our members also have served in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts or have children or grandchildren who have, let's give all of them a big Salute.
.Submission of old photos appreciated!..MORE CABARRUS COUNTY HISTORY & GENEALOGY.HISTORIC PHOTOS OF CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C..HISTORIC PHOTOS OF SURROUNDING AREA...This page created April 11, 2006 by Julie Hampton Ganis