Today is Confederate Memorial Day. It’s one of a dozen holidays when state offices close in Georgia, according to the state’s official website, GeorgiaGov. We asked residents at several locations in Reporter Newspapers communities whether they thought Georgia should celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. Here’s what they had to say.
“I think the term ‘Confederate’ has too many connotations. Memorial Day is general enough. It celebrates all folks that have fought in wars. Memorial Day is inclusive, the other one is exclusive.”
“No. I think there are lots of people it offends. I think if you’re going to offend somebody, you shouldn’t go there.”
“I would say no. Because I’m from New York!”
“Yes, if it’s done with the proper intention of historical reference and what it means for the world today and not used for individual political reasons. I think history needs to be respected and not used for individual political reasons… Unfortunately, too many people take it for individual reasons and not for hisotical reasons.”
“No. The time has passed for that holiday. I think it should be left in the history books.”
“No. I think it’s a part of the state’s history that doesn’t reflect the entirety of the state’s values. It’s not necessarily sensitive to the wounds inflicted as a result of the ideology and actions behind the Confederacy. I don’t think it’s something that should be celebrated. Perhaps remembered, but not celebrated.”
“No. I think it’s elaborates old differences rather than celebrating new commonalities.”
“Probably not, just because of the slavery connotation. It offends too many people.”
“That’s a tough question because I respect acknowledging anyone’s opinion or right to celebrate something but at the same time can understand why there’s apprehension about recognizing it. There’s certainly a stigma attached to it.”
“If it means no school, sure!”
“No. It’s not relevant. It’s a sign of a past paradigm of thought that is truly no relevant for today in the face of racial overtones. It is not progressive and not something to be celebrated.”
“Leave it alone. A lot of young men died for this. I want to show proper respect.”
“Yes. My ancestors. There were 13 brothers who fought for the rights of the states in the Confederate War and that was the first time in history that ever happened. They were fighting for the rights of the states to make their own choices—not for slavery, that was never an issue. It was a time for freedom and definitely it should be left in place as a memorial Confederate holiday.
“We have to speak for our ancestors as descendants and keep [Confederate Memorial Day] in place. It’s a very important thing.”
Jeanine Herrin Collins