Back in January, it was unsettling to learn that on the same day the nation honors Martin Luther King Jr., three states – Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi – also celebrate a statewide holiday honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday.
When Arkansas lawmakers considered a proposal soon after to end the Lee commemoration, the Republican-led legislature rejected the recommendations, citing the importance of “Southern heritage.”
This week, it was equally interesting to learn that Confederate Memorial Day still exists in parts of the deep South.
One city block and 150 years from the first White House of the Confederacy, descendants of Confederate soldiers gathered outside the Alabama Capitol on Monday to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.In Montgomery, the first official capital of the Confederacy, nearly 100 convened for the commemoration.
One of the organizers told the local Sun Herald that in the years since the Civil War, “the why and for what Confederate soldiers fell has undergone a dramatic change in this country at the feet of the new unholy trinity of political correctness, multiculturalism and diversity.”
The same report added that Alabama isn’t alone: Mississippi and Georgia also recognize Confederate Memorial Day.
In fact, all three states recognize Confederate Memorial Day as an official state holiday, in which state offices are closed.
It’s probably worth noting that Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi also recognize the U.S. Memorial Day as an official holiday, too. They evidently honor both.
The Civil War ended 150 years ago.