By Tammy Derouin
As we approach Memorial Day, I wanted to revisit the history of the holiday. What began as a look back, quickly turned into hours of reading. I began to get sidetracked as one date and event led to another. History provides answers and reminds us of the reasons we are free. Had it not been for those who came before us, and those who sacrificed their lives, we would not have the freedom we have today.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It began in the years following the end of Civil War. The Civil War began when the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861. It ended when Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.
A great divide was taking place in the years leading up to the War Between the States. Several issues such as the moral conflict over slavery, the argument of states' rights and the authority of the federal government over the states, as well as the feeling that the South's 'way of life' was being infringed upon, were all coming to a head. Families and friends became enemies as tensions mounted. The great divide would cause brother to stand against brother, neighbor against neighbor and countrymen against countrymen.......