Memorial Day with Paul Patton (May 25)

In 1865, Charleston, South Carolina lay in ruin. The city had witnessed the first shots of the Civil War four years earlier. However, on a cool May morning following General Lee’s surrender, freed men and women gathered within the old race course of the city and held the first Decoration Day to honor the dead. As we remember soldiers from all wars on this Memorial Day, we will reflect on that first celebration back in Charleston and consider what implications it has for us in our modern understanding of this holiday.

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