by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Feast of Freedom (7 of 10)
Series: Broken Chains
Jeff Strite
Exodus 12:2-32

I've read that Memorial Day was originally begun by former slaves on May, 1, 1865. The ceremony was held in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. The former slaves dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial.
Then they held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children who marched through the streets celebrating the sacrifice of these men.

Now, the first ''official'' Memorial Day was celebrated a few years later. I'm told that a group of women asked the War Department for permission to put flowers on the graves of soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery.Permission was finally granted to do so, but a stern order was attached to the permission: No flowers were to be placed on the graves of the Confederate soldiers.
The confederates were buried in a segregated section of the cemetery.
The ladies carried out their task and carefully followed their instructions. A crowd gathered for the commemoration at which General Grant gave a speech.
But shortly after the ceremony concluded, they say a strong gust of wind blew through the cemetery… and the wind blew almost all the flowers into the Confederate section.
After that the separation was never repeated. Many believed that the wind had sent by the hand of God. (Bruce Howell,

Now, how many of you knew that about Memorial Day?
How many of you knew that Memorial Day began as a way of honoring the dead from the Civil War?
Me neither! If it hadn't been in my files, I wouldn't have realized that.
And that was a mere 150 years ago.

And yet, even though that event took place a mere 150 years ago, not only do many folks not know that Memorial Day was begun after the Civil War, but there are many who don't know that Memorial Day has since been set aside to honor the dead of all American wars since that da ...

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