Monday is Confederate Memorial Day, and people are divided

Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 8:49 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s time for a history lesson! Did you know in the state of Alabama, Monday, April 26th is a holiday?

It’s Confederate Memorial Day.

A lot of people we talked to didn’t know about the holiday and had never heard of it. But for those in the know, they’re passionate.

“It’s important to me because these were my family and I want to remember them. I served in the military, I wore the uniform for 29 years. We have a long history in our family of service to the country,” said professional military historian Edwin Kennedy.

While some appreciate the state holiday, others may question it.

“This particular day was meant to draw a reflection upon those who fought for the Confederacy. But we already have a Memorial Day in this country. There’s a reason why this is only recognized at the state level and not at the national level,” said community activist Remus Bowden.

Last year, people across the Tennessee Valley were divided when the Confederate monument was moved from the Madison County Courthouse.

Images of the Confederate flag also spark outrage for some, and now many want the Confederate Memorial Day holiday erased.

“We can’t remove days, right? But what we can do, is remove the celebration or the acknowledgment or it being recognized as a day that should be honored,” said Bowden.

But military historian Edwin Kennedy disagrees.

“Confederate Memorial Day started before what we call Memorial Day in the United States. It started in 1866. We need to remember their sacrifice,” said Kennedy.

We’re told several state buildings were closed today in observance of this holiday.

Kennedy says a handful of states still have it on their calendar, but some re-named it to remove the word “Confederate.”

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