September 26, 2021

Heard County Chapter 2587 celebrates Confederate Memorial Day

(Franklin) — Heard County Chapter 2587 will celebrate Confederate Memorial Day on April 26.

Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Decoration Day (Tennessee) and Confederate Heroes Day (Texas), is an official holiday or observance day in a number of states in the Southern United States as a day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the War Between the States.

In the spring of 1866, the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia passed a resolution to set aside one day annually to memorialize the Confederate dead.

Letters inviting the ladies in every Southern state to join them in the observance were written in March 1866 and sent to all of the principal cities in the South, including Atlanta, Macon, Montgomery, Memphis, Richmond, St. Louis, Alexandria, Columbia, and New Orleans.

The date for the holiday was selected by Mrs. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rutherford Ellis. She chose April 26, the first anniversary of Confederate General Johnston’s final surrender to Union General Sherman at Bennett Place, NC.

For many in the South, that marked the official end of the war.  In 1874, the Georgia General Assembly approved legislation adding as a new public holiday “The 26th day of April in each year – commonly known as Memorial Day.”

The 1984 General Assembly changed state law with respect to public and legal holidays observed in Georgia. The result of this legislation was to drop the names of all official state holidays from the Georgia Code.

Although there is no longer a statutory holiday known as Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia, the practice of governors since 1984 has been to proclaim April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day by executive proclamation.

Heard County Chapter 2587 UDC will celebrate Memorial Day with two activities on Saturday, April 23rd.

We will meet at 1 pm at the Heard County Library to honor three veterans by presenting three Military Service Awards, two to veterans of Vietnam and one to the family of a World War II soldier, in a Military Service Award Ceremony The Crosses of Military Service awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy are four in number and are the outgrowth of the Cross of Honor.

They are: first the World War II Cross; second, the Korean War Cross; third, the Vietnam Conflict Cross; and fourth, the Global War on Terror Cross.

The Cross is a Crusader Cross in bold relief, bound by the Battle Flag of the Confederacy and linked by the entwined monogram, UDC, to the ribbon. It is attached to a laurel leaf as a mark of valor. The color of the ribbon and wording signify the War or Conflict in which the recipient served.

These decorations have been established as a testimonial to the patriotic devotion of worthy Confederate Soldiers and Sailors and their descendants.

The Military Service Awards ceremony is the most solemn, dignified, and revered of all UDC ceremonies.

The Cross of Military Service is the heartfelt attribute of Southern womanhood to those who proved worthy of their Confederate ancestry and who gladly and freely tendered their services and their lives to this great nation in times of stress and strife. We are pleased to be able to honor these veterans.

Following this ceremony, members will head to Veterans Park on the square to have a Confederate Memorial Day Program at 2 pm.

During the program we will plant a Daughters Flag and a United States Flag at the Confederate Monument. We will also place a wreath in honor of our ancestors long gone.

The ceremony will end with the playing of Taps and a three shot salute by the McDaniel-Curtis Camp 165 Carrollton Honor Guard. The public is invited to join us.

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