Tags: south carolina | confederate memorial day

8 South Carolina Counties Observing Confederate Memorial Day

Friday, 10 May 2019 01:40 PM

South Carolina is officially observing Confederate Memorial Day on Friday, with eight of the state’s 46 counties giving their government workers paid leave, ABC4 reports.

The counties closing government services for the holiday are Allendale, Anderson, Cherokee, Colleton, Dillon, Lexington, McCormick, and Oconee.

The state declared May 10 a holiday in 2000, The State newspaper reports. The bill establishing the holiday also added Martin Luther King Day to the list of official state holidays.

The day was begun to honor the lives of those killed in the Civil War, the newspaper reported. Five of the counties opting to close government offices are predominately white, according to U.S. Census data.

Only a handful of states officially recognize Confederate Memorial Day. Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina recognize the holiday, though not all on the same date. And in Georgia, where the holiday reportedly began, lawmakers removed it from the list of official state holidays, replacing it with “State Holiday.”

While the first shots of the Civil War were fired in South Carolina, and statues of Confederate generals and soldiers pepper the state capital, some say Confederate Memorial Day needs to come to an end. Critics of the recognition of the celebrations honoring the Confederacy argue it obscures the history of racism in the country. Proponents counter that it recognizes Southern heritage.

Former Methodist minister Joseph Alley, whose family has ties to the Civil War, maintains, “The Past needs to be put in the past.”

“It was a terrible, terrible time in the history of our country and I can thoroughly understand why people of color, who were central to the fight over whether they could be chattel or not, could look back and think, ‘My, my. How could people who call themselves Christians do this?’” Alley said.

However Barry Walker, an African-American councilman in Irmo who is also running for mayor, said, “It’s a day off . . . I’m for taking a day off anytime I can get it.”

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South Carolina is officially observing Confederate Memorial Day on Friday, with eight of the state's 46 counties giving their government workers paid leave, ABC4 reports. The counties closing government services for the holiday are Allendale, Anderson, Cherokee, Colleton,...
south carolina, confederate memorial day
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2019-40-10
Friday, 10 May 2019 01:40 PM
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