Memorial Day, a holiday that is supposed to honor soldiers who died while serving in the United States armed forces. But did you know that Memorial Day was actually founded by former slaves? You won’t find this in school textbooks. The day was actually called “Decoration Day”. In an article written in 2011, presented by Zinn Education Project entitled, The First Decoration Day (The people’s history of Memorial Day in Charleston, SC during Reconstruction), Decoration Day actually began in Charleston, South Carolina a few years after the civil war – the year was 1861. According to the author, David W. Blight, a professor of American History at Yale University, the city had been attacked repeatedly for months and there were numerous fires that they were dealing with…
“The city was largely abandoned by white residents by late February. Among the first troops to enter and march up Meeting Street singing liberation songs was the 21st US Colored Infantry; their commander accepted the formal surrender of that city. Thousands of black Charlestonians, most former slaves, remained in the city and conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war. During the final year of the war, the confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, The Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some 28 black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course”. Then black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. A New York tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before. At 9 a.m. on May 1st, the procession stepped off led by 3,000 black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body”. The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses. Then came black men marching in cadence, followed by contingents of Union infantry and other black and white citizens. Following the solemn dedication, the crowd dispersed into the infield and did what many of us do on Memorial Day: they enjoyed picnics, listened to speeches, and watched soldiers drill. Among the full brigade of Union infantry participating was the famous 54th Massachusetts and 34th and 104th US Colored Troops, who performed a special double-columned march around the gravesite. The war was over and Decoration Day had been founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration. The war, they had boldly announced, had been all about the triumph of their emancipation over a slaveholders’ republic, and not about state rights, defense of home, nor merely soldiers’ valor and sacrifice. Over time, several American towns – north and south – claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. But all of them commemorate cemetery decoration events from 1866. Pride of place as the first large-scale ritual Decoration Day, therefore, goes to African Americans in Charleston. By their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of flowers and marching feet on their former owner’s race course, they created for themselves, and for us, the Independence Day of the Second American Revolution.”
I’m sure that it comes as no surprise that the true history of how the day began failed to find its way into the history books. But did you know that Israel had its own memorial day twice in scripture? Israel is told to remember what Amalek had done to them. Who was Amalek and why was the nation of Israel told to always remember what they had done? More importantly why did we forget? We’re going to look back at the memorial we were told to remember because we really need to understand exactly what happened and why we were told to remember this day. I encourage you to read over these passages and get them down in your spirit.
- Exodus 17 (entire chapter)
- Deuteronomy 25:17-19
- I Samuel 15:1-9
- Numbers 13:17-29
- Numbers 24:20
- Judges 3:13
- I Samuel 15:18
- I Samuel 15:33
- Ezekiel 35:1-15
Our enemies are real! It was easier to identify them before they mixed themselves with the other nations, but the way they deal with us has not changed. This is brother fighting against brother. These other nations are simply being used in Esau’s war against us. The puppet masters running the show behind the scenes are Esau’s seed. Please stop focusing on color; this is about a bloodline. Esau mixed himself with those nations so he has more than one hue – you have to identify him by his fruit. Look at slavery, mass killings, mass incarceration, abortion, injectables, etc. We were told to remember Esau’s seed for a reason Israel; that is our true memorial day. We need to remember how they attacked and killed our people, particularly now as we prepare for our exodus. They need to stop us from inheriting, from being a nation again. So, we should expect that these attacks against us will increase but pay attention how they come against us. They come for the vulnerable first; they look for those least able to defend themselves. That should tell you how dishonorable and cowardly they are, but we have to be wise concerning the ways of our enemies, and we have to start looking out for each other, praying for each other, and supporting each other. Again, this is the memorial we were told to remember. Let’s not forget this time Israel.
Learn more when you view the accompanying video, The Memorial We Were Told to Remember | Why Did We Forget Israel? We talk about the true history of Decoration Day and see how it connects to another day of remembrance in Israel’s history. It’s the memorial we were told to remember, but we didn’t.
(Note: we also have an updated video: Our True Memorial Day)