Legislator Calls for End to Confederate Memorial Day

Rep. Boyd Brown says holiday is inefficient.

Today, public schools remain in session, municipal employees are at work, no stores are closed, but the S.C. General Assembly and thousands of state employees are on break, observing Confederate Memorial Day.

It's a problem for State Rep. Boyd Brown, D-Winnsboro, because legislative work is piling up.

"We have important issues that need our attention, but instead, the Legislature is taking a day off to observe an archaic state holiday," Brown said. "I’m not suggesting that South Carolinians stop celebrating the holiday, but I am asking that from this point forward, they observe it in their hearts and minds. State offices should be open today."

Nine states of the former Confederacy observe Confederate Memorial Day, albeit at different times. A handful of battle reenactments in South Carolina are planned today to note the death of Gen. Stonewall Jackson, who died in 1863.

Last week, political parties were forced to purge hundreds of candidates from South Carolina ballots after a court ruling found them ineligible due to a paperwork snafu. Brown said legislators need to be at the capitol working on a solution.

"Unlike some colleagues, I didn’t know any Confederate veterans personally, but I am sure they would appreciate us doing the job we were elected to do," said Brown, 26, one of the youngest legislators in state history. "Instead of doing our jobs, the Legislature is taking the day off to observe a holiday that most people don’t even know exists."

In South Carolina, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, the Civil War still stirs emotions. Brown won't face political fallout, however.

C.C. LESTERS May 11, 2012 at 12:53 AM
stanley seigler May 11, 2012 at 03:59 AM
It's an important part of history...and should be a national observance to remind us that: "this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." a new birth after any/all trials, tribulations and adversities...eg, depressions, recessions...remind us we are americans.
michael hedrick May 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Please. Like they get anything done when they are there. Just another effort to erase the southern history. The young rep should start shaving before he starts addressing issues like this. We as a community also celerate martin l kings birthday but everything stays open on good friday. I believe Jesus death is more important that anything we celebrate.
stanley seigler May 11, 2012 at 02:03 PM
PS. re: ...remind us we are americans....despite our differences
ReadIt May 11, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Remember that time we tried to create our own country, but failed? Yeah, let's celebrate that bright moment in the South's history. And while we're at it, let us all remember that time our ancestors utilized humans as machines and thought God approved of it. Yeah, we should take off work to remember those days. please. we lost people, time to get over it.
Allison May 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I don't think it should be a state worker holiday but I think it is worthwhile to remember those who sacrificed their lives fighting for what they believed in. It IS a part of our history whether we like it or not & nothing will change that.
stanley seigler May 11, 2012 at 05:07 PM
@ReadIt: "...Remember that time...Yeah, we should take off work to remember those days." we should remember our country's history...take time to reflect and ponder...yeah. @michael hedrick: "...I believe Jesus death is more important that anything we celebrate..." me too...and regardless of what one believes it is another time to reflect and ponder...the religious right (all professed believers) should suspend all business operations on Good Friday...believe many years ago in sville, businesses did close on Good Friday. caveat: i am not a supporter of organized religions.
SDR May 11, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Any representatives calling for the end of the income tax? Oh yeah, 66 of them, including Horne They promised to act on it this term. Well, it was politicians doing the promising. H3993/S274
John H May 12, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I was not raised in the south and the holiday always seemed anachronistic. Last year after the May 10th Memorial Day, I passed by a small hidden burial plot. I found new small battle flags placed next to weathered markers. I began to notice others in small sections of out of the way places. Some were in town. Others were in fields. All of them were maintained. Suddenly I got it. It is the only day set aside to remember those who gave their last full measure specifically during the civil war. When Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg address he characterized the war as a terrible struggle between two opposing perceptions within the same consciousness, never mentioning the differences of the two sides. I believe when he said those “who gave their last full measure”; he was including the Confederate soldiers. Lincoln in his second inaugural address; “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” I think it is appropriate for the legacy of the widow and orphan to somberly remember, setting aside the ideologies that brought the war, those that borne its burden.
stanley seigler May 12, 2012 at 06:04 PM
@johnh: "...setting aside the ideologies that brought the war." celebrate confederate memorial day by setting aside ideologies that divide us now...promote a holiday based on the gettysburg address tenets..."It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us"...eg, eliminating hunger, poverty, ignorance, greed, etcetcetc...
stanley seigler May 13, 2012 at 01:14 AM
another PS @johnh: "I was not raised in the south" sad too bad...:)
Tonto May 13, 2012 at 03:46 AM
It looks like we are headed for another civil war with communist Oblamer so maybe this is something to look into ?
stanley seigler May 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM
@Tonto: "...we are headed for another civil war with communist Oblamer..." have missed yo tonto...agree we should look into the possibility of a civil was with BO the muslin communist...oh/and i hear the brits are going to invade america and take back their colony...and are forming an alliance with BO promising to make him king BO...but not worry we all have our anti-tank guns...
Robert Kelly May 13, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Stanley, are you sure about the UK-USA alliance with BO as king? What will that do to the much-anticipated Prince Harry and his beautiful princess who were expected to be king and queen? By the way, since we all have our anti-tank guns, and we would no doubt use them as well as everything else in our arsenal if Russia sent tanks to patrol our streets...why are people so surprised that Iraqis and Afghanis do the same?
John H May 14, 2012 at 02:18 PM
To Stanley; I was born and raised in the south....Southern Ohio. Does that count?
James M Whitehead May 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM
We will never lose site of what the true meaning of that war was. Some of you still dont get it. aas a real southerner we do!
James M Whitehead May 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM
God bless the south and honor my ancesters whom fought for states rights.


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